Now is the time to gather the documents for the tax return. An important document for retirees is the pension statement from the German Pension Insurance Fund (Deutsche Rentenversicherung). How do pensioners get their tax assessment?
Normally the German pension insurance sends out the so-called "Rentenbezugsmitteilung" already in the middle of January. However, this year that seems to be delayed. If it has not yet arrived in your mailbox, it is best to request it online or by telephone – at www.german-pension-insurance.de/tax certificate. It is also possible by telephone at 0800 1000 48000. The caller is thereby referred to the Internet address. In return, there is a notice that the data no longer have to be entered in the tax return, as they are automatically transmitted to the tax authorities.
Pension certificate important for tax return
Pensioners who receive not only statutory pension, but also have other income, need this pension receipt, however, because it contains not only the pension amount, but also the pension adjustment amount and the contributions paid to health insurance. The latter is especially important for company pensioners, because in addition to the contributions for the statutory pension insurance, they also have to pay contributions for their company pension, which affects the special expenses and thus the tax to be paid. If you receive an occupational pension, you pay the full health insurance contributions plus nursing care contributions, in total close to 20 percent, unlike for the statutory pension.
Submit tax return?
Pensioners and taxes? Yes, whose pension including other income in 2022 was lower than the so-called basic allowance of 10.347 (Married: 20.694) does not pay taxes. In terms of the month, this is 862.25 euros. Many will be above this and may have to file a tax return. The health insurance contributions paid are an important factor in reducing taxes or not having to pay taxes at all.
"First of all, according to the law, contributions to health and long-term care insurance may be recognized as special expenses," say the tax experts from Lohngsteuerhilfe Lohi. "That's already about eleven percent of the pension."Contributions to liability, accident or supplementary dental insurance are also eligible if the maximum tax limit has not yet been reached. Not to forget other special expenses, such as a pension settlement, alimony, church tax, party contributions and donations. In most cases the lump sum of 36 Euro (72 Euro in case of joint assessment) is exceeded.
If household-related services are used, the costs for them can be deducted at a rate of 20 percent. This includes not only the cost of cleaning help or outpatient care, but also the home emergency call. If you have to live in a nursing home due to illness, you can claim all services in the home, including haircuts or pedicures, as household-related services. Tenants often find items in the landlord's service charge statement that are deductible. Similar to household-related services, craftsmen's invoices can also be deducted from tax in the pension.
All expenses that fall under extraordinary expenses should be added together for the tax return. These are, for example, the costs for glasses, a hearing aid, dentures or a rollator. Non-prescription drugs on prescription, co-payments for physiotherapy, fees for non-medical practitioners or medical treatments prescribed by a doctor that are not covered by the health insurance fund can also be reported in the tax return. Treatments that are not scientifically recognized must be certified by a public health officer beforehand.
Travel costs to the doctor, physiotherapy or hospital can be considered with 30 cents per kilometer. Many individual smaller bills can come into weight here in the end. And large investments like in a stair lift, in the course of an age or handicapped accessible rebuilding of the own home, make themselves correctly noticeable. The reasonable burden comes into play before anything can be deducted, but this is not really high for smaller pensions.
Every taxable pensioner is automatically credited by the tax office with a lump sum of 102 euros. Often, however, there are higher income-related expenses, for example, due to a fee-based pension or tax advice, membership in an income tax assistance club, account maintenance fees, union or association dues. Legal fees or costs of litigation involving pensions can also be mentioned. If you have a part-time job that is not a mini-job, travel expenses, work equipment and training costs are also taken into account.