Don’t miss deadlines and appointments
It is important here that you set up a reminder that notifies you in good time when the tax return is due. You should plan a little time for this. However, you usually have this time too. Since 2019 it has been possible submit the declaration by July 31 of the following year. The fastest way to do this is online via the online portal of the financial administration “Elster”.
However, if you miss the deadline or for whatever reason you cannot keep it, there is still the possibility to apply for an extension. However, you have to have a valid reason to do so. Alternatively, you can submit the tax return to a tax advisor, who can submit the documents by December 31 of the following year. However, it is better to note the deadline and keep it.
State expenses without receipts
It is actually the classic for every tax return. If you can’t justify expenses, you won’t get your money back. It is true now that one do not send any more receipts must, but you should still keep it if the responsible tax office asks about it. If you cannot show them, there is no refund for these items.
This is particularly annoying if, for example, as a freelancer, you’ve paid for a business lunch with a customer. Normally you would get back about 70 percent of the costs for this. Basically, you should make sure that you pay on account, if possible. When paying in cash, some costs can no longer be deducted.
Incorrectly allocated insurance costs
As a freelancer, you can deduct the cost of insurance. However, if you have taken out a lot of insurance, you can easily lose track of this over time. Here the app CLARK help. The insurance manager shows all the policies taken out clearly at a glance. At the same time, the current insurance coverage is checked, whereupon you get suggestions for optimization from the experts at CLARK. If necessary, you can get advice over the phone or via chat.
There are a number of items in the tax return where insurance can be stated. That also makes it a little more complicated. When it comes to forms, a distinction must be made between:
- Pension expenses: Health insurance, long-term care insurance, old-age provision, labor legal protection.
- other pension expenses: Liability, motor vehicle liability, life insurance, disability insurance.
- Advertising expenses: Private professional liability and premiums.
It is understandable that it is easy to get confused here and in this way misallocate insurance costs. However, this has the consequence that one or the other euro that you might have got back is now lost. If you have any questions, you can contact the responsible tax office.
Private and business costs are mixed up
Another mistake that is made very often is that personal and business costs are not treated separately. However, this is often not so easy when freelancers work from home most of the time, for example. In principle, a study can be tax deductible. However, you have to be careful here.
The space used is only considered a study for the tax office if it is a separate room that is used exclusively for work. A desk is set up in the living room or bedroom, it cannot be set off as a study. However, you have the option of at least specifying the required work equipment in the tax return. Basically, as a freelancer, you should make sure to separate private and business matters wherever possible. Transparency is the key to success in dealing with the tax office.
Spending in the wrong place
The situation here is similar to that with insurance companies. Because there are also certain items in the forms for the expenses themselves that are not always filled out correctly. An example: If the costs for a training course are entered where the advertising costs should actually be, you will not get any money back. Even if the forms are not always transparent and understandable, the tax offices are rigorous in such cases.
After the tax return is before the tax return
It is best to submit the tax return electronically. Those who can afford it hire a tax advisor, use apps such as Taxfix or use the best tools from the digital and real world. With some help, it is much easier to keep track of things. It is particularly important that you take your time and don’t start too late. So you can be sure that as few errors as possible will creep in. If you also keep all the receipts, nothing stands in the way of a repayment.