If the tax statement is incorrect, you can defend yourself against it. It's easy, free of charge and can even bring you money in the end. We explain how to appeal against your Steuerbescheid.
Before appealing: Check your tax statement
After you have received your tax statement from the tax office, you should check it - especially if the result does not meet your expectations and differs from the preliminary calculation of the Taxfix app.
Deviations can have different reasons. For example, the tax office may not have recognized the costs you claimed. Differences can also arise if you have accidentally entered incorrect data in the tax return or have forgotten information. In this case, the tax office can correct the tax return.
You should therefore check your tax statement very carefully before filing an appeal. If, after checking, you think that the tax office has made a mistake or has rejected costs without justification, you can file an appeal. Even if you have completely forgotten to declare certain costs, an appeal is possible in order to claim your expenses retrospectively.
How long do you have to file an appeal?
You have one month to file an appeal. The deadline starts from the day the tax statement is postmarked plus three days.
Here is an example:
|Postmark date on your tax statement||2. October|
|plus announcement of the administrative act||+ 3 days|
|Start of deadline||5. October|
|End of deadline||5. November|
If the beginning or end of the period falls on a public holiday or a weekend, the period begins or ends on the next working day.
Is it possible to file an objection at a later date?
If you miss the deadline for filing an appeal for an important reason, you can apply for „Wiedereinsetzung in den vorigen Stand“ (“restoring the previous state”).
Whether the tax office grants your request depends on the reason. An important reason can be, for example, a longer absence, such as a 4-week vacation. However, you should also be able to prove this.
Does the appeal cost anything?
An appeal against a tax statement is generally free of charge. However, if you commission a tax consultant to do so, costs will be incurred. These are governed by the tax consultant fee schedule.
How to file an objection?
You can submit your objection informally and in writing to the tax office. A simple letter sent by mail or fax is sufficient. If an email address is indicated on the tax statement, you can also respond by email. If you have an ELSTER account, you can also submit an objection via ELSTER. However, a telephone call is not sufficient.
In this case, informal means that the letter only has to state who filed the objection. A signature is not mandatory.
So that the tax office can understand your objection, you should explain the reasons for it and, if necessary, submit supporting receipts and proofs. This will save you from having to answer questions.
Can I submit an objection via the Taxfix app?
No, unfortunately you cannot submit an appeal via our app. Send your appeal by letter, fax, email or ELSTER if you have an account there.
Appeal in the case of an additional tax payment (Nachzahlung)
If your tax statement shows that you have to pay an additional payment to the tax office, the objection does not release you from the payment deadline and it does not automatically suspend the payment obligation. If you do not pay, late payment penalties become due. This can be expensive.
If you want to wait with the payment until after the examination of your objection, you must request together with the objection that the "execution of the tax statement" („Vollziehung des Steuerbescheids“) is suspended.
Objection in case of voluntary tax return
Were you not required to file a tax return, but did so voluntarily and are now holding a demand for additional payment in your hand? In this case you are in luck.
File an appeal against the tax statement and at the same time withdraw your application for assessment according to §46 Abs. 2 Nr. 8 EStG. Your tax return is then deemed not to have been submitted and you do not have to make the additional payment. To be on the safe side, you can also request a suspension of “execution of the tax statement" (Aussetzen der „Vollziehung des Steuerbescheids“) in your appeal. The one-month deadline also applies here.
If you are obliged to submit your tax return, you cannot of course withdraw it. You can find out when you are required to file a tax return here:
What happens after you file an appeal?
If your appeal is received within the deadline, your tax office will reconsider the appeal and your entire tax return. This may result in your appeal being accepted, rejected, or your tax assessment being worsened:
The appeal is granted
If your tax administrator grants your appeal in whole or in part, you will receive a new, corrected tax statement. You will find the changes compared to the original tax statement and the new tax refund.
Rejection of the objection
However, it is also possible that you will not be successful. In this case, your first tax statement remains legally binding without any changes.
However, this does not mean that this is the end for you. You still have the option of filing an appeal with the tax court. From this point on, however, the free part of the appeal process is over. The amount of further costs depends on the amount in dispute, the type of hearing and may include attorney's fees and court costs. Therefore, clarify in advance with a tax advisor or a law firm whether a lawsuit has a chance of success and what costs you should expect.
A worsened tax assessment: Pitfalls when filing an objection
When you file an appeal, your tax office will review your entire tax return again. It can happen that not only points are changed in your favor, but also to your disadvantage. Should this occur, the tax office will inform you of this so-called "Verböserung". This happens before the final decision on the tax assessment. You now have the option of withdrawing the objection. In this way, you can avoid the reversal and the original tax statement becomes legally binding.
Alternative to an appeal: Simple amendment
Does your tax statement only contain minor formal errors, for example obvious spelling or calculation errors? Then an appeal is not absolutely necessary and a so-called "request for a simple amendment" (“Antrag auf schlichte Änderung”) is sufficient. Even if you have forgotten to include certain items (e.g. parts of the income-related expenses), the application for a simple amendment is sufficient.
This request does not mean that the entire tax return will be re-examined. Rather, your tax office administrator will only look at the section that was criticized. In comparison to the objection, the simple amendment can also be requested by telephone, not only in writing. However, the one-month deadline also applies here.