If you need proof of your expenses and no longer have an original receipt, a self-receipt can help. We explain in which cases this is possible and which information is important.
When do I need receipts?
Until 2016, you always had to provide unsolicited proof of all costs and income on the basis of receipts for your tax return. Since 2017, this rule doesn’t apply anymore. Since then, receipts only have to be submitted if the tax office asks for them.
💡 You can find detailed information on proofs and receipts here.
When can I submit a self-receipt?
You are still obliged to keep all receipts and show them if necessary. However, it can happen that receipts are lost or accidentally thrown away. This is annoying because the tax office will probably not take the costs into account. But there is an emergency solution for this case: You create a so-called self-receipt (Eigenbeleg) as a substitute.
🚨 Be aware:
Self-receipts are often recognised, but there is no legal entitlement. Therefore, they should be an exception and not become your standard method of proof.
For smaller expenses of up to 150 euros, the chances of having your self-receipts recognised are good. However, if you have an unusually large number of self-receipts, the tax office will check them closely and may not recognise them.
In certain cases, you may not need any receipts at all, because for some expenses there are lump sums or non-objection limits. If these apply, the tax office does not ask for proof. You can find more information on this here.
For which expenses can I submit self-receipts?
Self-receipts are suitable for rather low costs, for example for:
- Lost, stolen or illegible receipts (e.g. for the purchase of professional literature, laundry service, etc.)
- Vending machines without or with defective receipts output (parking meters, coin-operated copiers, car washes)
- Additional travel expenses
💡 Note for self-employed persons and tradespeople with VAT obligations: Deduction of tax is not possible with self-receipts. For this, you need a proper invoice with a VAT statement. Please note that Taxfix is not yet able to support self-employed persons and tradesmen.
What does a self-receipt look like?
You can easily create your own receipt, for example with a word processing programme such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word.
The following information must appear on the receipt:
- Payment date
- Recipient of payment with full address
- Type of expenditure / purpose of use
- Reason for self-receipt
- Place, date and own signature
You should justify the self-receipt as precisely as possible and, if possible, provide further evidence of the expenses. This increases the chance that they will be recognised. It is advantageous if you can prove the costs with a bank statement.
Examples of self-receipts
You drove to a job interview by car and had to pay parking fees on site. However, the parking machine did not give you a receipt. You therefore issue a self-receipt. When your tax office asks for proof of your application costs, you can submit the self-receipt. For the calculation of travel costs, you simply use the mileage allowance; no receipt is necessary here. To prove that the job interview really took place, you can also submit the email communication with the employer you applied to.
|Recipient of payment||
Car Park City
Car Park Street 5
12345 Park City
|Purpose of use||
2 hours of parking
Job interview at Company Ltd
|Reason for self-receipt||Defect parking machine, no receipt was printed|
Park City, 5.3.2023
You bought an office chair and lost the receipt. Since you paid by card, you also submit the bank statement.
|Recipient of payment||
Furniture House Furnitures 3000 Ltd
Flower Street 2
12345 Flower City
|Purpose of use||Purchase of an office chair|
|Reason for self-receipt||Receipt lost|
Flower City, 5.3.2023