End of May, July or October – how was that again with the deadline for the tax return? Many taxpayers are asking themselves that right now, because the deadlines have been mixed up because of the corona pandemic. You should note that.
This article first appeared on RTL.de
Many people have the end of May as the deadline for submitting their tax returns. But for a few years, July 31 has been the deadline by which the tax return must be submitted to the tax office. This is especially true for employees and pensioners who prepare their own tax returns.
However, during the corona pandemic, the submission deadlines were changed.
“Anyone who is obliged to submit a tax return for 2021 had three months more time to do so. The tax return had to be submitted by October 31, 2022. For people with tax advice, the submission deadline is August 31, 2023,” writes the Financial administration of North Rhine-Westphalia on its website.
But taxpayers also have more time for the tax return for 2022. Those who prepare the tax return themselves must submit it by October 2, 2023 this year.
Because the submission deadline for the 2022 tax return has been postponed by two months and actually ends on September 30, 2023. Since the deadline falls on a Saturday, the last submission date is postponed to Monday, October 2nd, 2023.
If you use the services of a tax advisor, the deadline is even extended to July 31, 2024.
Deadlines for submitting tax returns for 2023 and 2024
There is one more exception for the 2023 tax year: The deadline for submitting the tax return for the 2023 tax period has been postponed by one month to August 31, 2024. And because it’s a Saturday again, the tax return has to be with the tax office on Monday, that’s September 2nd, 2024.
The normal deadline rules apply to the tax return for 2024: Anyone who prepares their own tax return must submit it to the tax office by July 1, 2025 at the latest.
What happens if a tax return is filed too late?
If the tax return is submitted too late, the tax office can impose late fees and possibly also interest on arrears.
However, the exact sanctions depend on various factors, such as the length of the delay or whether the tax return was submitted in response to a request from the tax office.
As a rule, the late payment surcharge is 0.25 percent of the assessed tax amount per month late, but at least EUR 25 per month of delay or part thereof.
If the tax return is submitted late but without being requested to do so by the tax office, the tax office can reduce the late payment surcharge to a lower amount or waive it altogether.
Stiftung Warentest calculates it
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If the tax return is submitted too late and there is an additional tax payment, interest on arrears may also be due on the additional payment amount. And they can be quite high at the moment, as the European Central Bank is currently raising interest rates every month.
It is therefore advisable to file the tax return on time and correctly to avoid possible penalties and additional costs.