Mantelbogen or Hauptvordruck refers to the general tax document every taxpayer needs to complete in Germany. Therefore, both citizens and foreigners that pay taxes file this document together with other forms. All these tax forms are primarily submitted to the German tax office, which is operated by the federal government. In addition, you will want to submit a levy declaration to show you paid the right tax amount for the prior year. You will also collect a refund if you are eligible. When filing out a tax form, you will need to provide the following details:

  • Full name and address;
  • Tax identification number;
  • German bank IBAN;
  • Your income and that of your partner;
  • Information about your local task office;
  • Addition income and sources;
  • Donations and daycare costs;
  • Insurance contributions;
  • Tax deductions.
  • Tax deductions payment proof or receipts;
  • A tax statement from your employer.

People Who are Eligible for Tax Return

If you are employed by an employer, you do not need to file a tax return form. However, the following classes of people must file this document.

  • Freelancers, self-employed individuals, and people who run their businesses.
  • Individuals with multiple incomes.
  • People who have sources of income from other countries.
  • Married people that require tax class.
  • Individuals that receive welfare benefits that exceed €410. These benefits include maternity pay, child benefits, and more.
  • People that receive extraordinary income.
  • Persons that require tax deductions.
  • When the tax office officially requests a taxpayer to file a tax document.

Filling the Tax Return Form

Completing a German tax return form is fairly easy. However, you will need to understand German to be able to complete this form. Likewise, it is a good idea to have all supporting documents with you when completing your tax form. Below are some of the forms you will need to file depending on your type of income.

General Tax Documents

There is more than one general tax document. The type you file may depend on your situation. In general, the simplified tax form is for you if you receive welfare payment, state pension, or income from a German employer.

You will be required to file an unlimited levy liability document if your situation is more complicated. Also, you will be eligible to fill this form if you:

  • Have income from multiple sources;
  • Have income from foreign sources;
  • Pay your former spouse alimony;
  • Collect capital gains revenue above a specific threshold;
  • Planning on declaring additional deductions.

However, you cannot use this form if you live outside Germany.

People who satisfied the criteria above but live outside the country will require limited tax liability individual tax return form. In general, if you need any of the three tax documents, you can access them from the German tax authority website.

Additional Forms

If your income and living situation is different from what is covered by the general tax documents, you will have to complete additional forms. Below are some to consider.

Form AUS – this document is specific for taxpayers that are self-employed and earn money from abroad.

Form AV – people who contribute to the Riester pension require this document.

Form G – businesses and enterprises require this document when reporting their income.

Form KAP – individuals that receive capital income beyond the tax-free threshold use this form when filing taxes.

Form Kind – parents and guardians with children who want to collect child benefits need to attach this form to their main tax filing.

Form L – this document is made for people who get their income from businesses in forestry or agriculture.

Form S – this form is for people who make money from their freelancing work.