Best tax apps for your tax return in Germany

It can be complicated navigating the German tax system, but with the help of a professional tax app or software, you are just a few clicks away from a potential tax refund of € 1,095.00

Let’s get your €1,095 tax refund!

Young man doing his taxes on his smartphone from home in Germany

Advantages of tax apps

Icon user-friendly

Easy to use

All you need to do is register for an account, fill in the required information, and the software will guide you through the rest.

Icon quick


Getting started is straightforward. You can finish filling out your tax return in as little as 15 minutes.

Icon inexpensive


From 29.95 euros for a tax return. You can deduct the cost of the software from your tax bill next year.

Icon secure


Your details are automatically transferred into the official tax form and via the Elster interface to the relevant tax office.

Icon high refunds

Higher reimbursement

If you're yet to file your tax return this year, don't let the potential tax refund slip away.



Assistants guide you step-by-step through your tax return and help you to fill out everything correctly and without errors. A final error check is standard.

Icon Kein Elster

Without Elster

You do not need an Elster certificate to file your tax return. This means you do not have to register with Elster.

Icon data transfer

Data transfer

Next year you can transfer your data with just 1 click. This saves you a lot of time.

Icon Filing the tax return is voluntary

Voluntary submission

Filing a tax return each year remains voluntary unless you are legally required to do so. There is no obligation to file tax returns in subsequent years.

Best multilingual tax apps for the German tax return

Logo Steuergo tax software Logo Wundertax tax software Logo Taxando tax software


Overall rating

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4 Sterne
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Online rating

(via Trustpilot)







App rating

(via Google Play Store)








app & browser


app & browser

app & browser

app & browser

app & browser


from 39.99 euros

Licence for 1 tax return

from 39.99 euros

Licence for 5 tax returns

from 34.95 euros

Licence for 1 tax return

from 29.95 euros

Licence for 1 tax return

from 34.99 euros

Licence for 1 tax return

from 33.80 euros

Licence for 1 tax return


App: English, German

Browser: Polish, Russian

Browser: English, German

App: English, German

Browser: Polish, Russian, Romanian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian

App: English, German
App/Browser: English, German
App/Browser: English, German, Polish, Russian, Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Ukrainian


(clarity, guidance, comprehensibility)

not yet rated

not yet rated

Special features

very fast, immediate payment of 50% of the tax refund

ideal for freelancers, import of accounting from Lexoffice


very fast, very simple and easy to understand

check for correctness



(without second jobs)

Married couples

(joint tax return)

Students + Trainees

bedingt geeignet


(state pension)

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(private pension)

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(priv. installation)

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Video Previews of tax software


Ideal for employees and freelancers, quick and complete tax filing. Import accounts & balance sheets from Lexoffice. No need of a tax consultant

Play Video
Play Video


Taxfix is simple, fast and clear. It does less than its competitors, but does it really well. Ideal for singles.


Fast through the tax return. The software is easy to understand and clearly designed.
Play Video
Play Video about Thumbnail Video tax software Steuerbot


Steuerbot guides you through your tax return via chat in a very understandable and easy-to-use way.

Why using an App to file a tax return?

With the help of tax softwares you can go through the entire process in English with different cost options for all different needs. Transform what was once a tedious process into a breeze.
Claim your tax refund today and discover how much you could save! Let’s put that hard-earned money back into your pocket, where it truly belongs.

Tax apps are available as:

  • an app for mobile phones and tablets (your data is also stored in the cloud)
  • an online version that runs in a browser (data is stored in the cloud)

Benefits: Using tax return apps in Germany offers numerous benefits that can simplify the tax filing process and improve your overall experience. Here are the main reasons why you should consider using tax return software:

  1. Efficiency and time saving: Tax return software and apps automate complex calculations and streamlines the process, saving you valuable time and effort. It eliminates the need for manual paperwork and tedious calculations, allowing you to complete your tax return more efficiently.

  2. Accuracy: Tax return software is designed to minimise errors and ensure accurate calculations. It reduces the risk of errors that can occur when completing tax forms manually, giving you peace of mind that your return is correct.

  3. Maximise deductions and credits: Tax return apps often include tools and prompts to help you identify potential deductions and credits you may be entitled to. It guides you through the process, ensuring you don’t miss out on any tax-saving opportunities.

  4. Keep up to date with tax laws: Tax laws and regulations change frequently. Using tax return software ensures that your tax return is always up to date. Software providers regularly update their systems to reflect any changes, minimising the risk of non-compliance.

  5. Convenience: Tax return apps allow you to complete your tax return from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. You don’t have to make appointments or visit tax offices, saving you the hassle of traditional tax filing methods.

  6. Access to customer support: Many tax return software providers offer customer support to help you with any questions or problems you may have. This can be particularly helpful if you have specific questions about the software or need help with complex tax issues.

Disadvantage: Of course, this software is not free. In terms of price, they all range from €30 to €40 for 1 license (depending on the features and how you use them), but within a short period of time they can provide an attractive hourly wage for your “work”.

Overall, tax return apps offer efficiency, accuracy, convenience and access to valuable resources. They simplify the tax filing process, maximise your tax savings and ensure compliance with ever-changing tax regulations. By using tax return software, you can streamline your tax obligations and have confidence in the accuracy of your tax return.


How to choose the best tax app in Germany

Filing taxes can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the tax laws and regulations of a foreign country. As an expat or non-German speaker in Germany, it’s important to have the right tools and resources to simplify the tax filing process. This is where choosing the best tax return software comes into play.

There are several key factors to consider when choosing the best tax return software in Germany. Whether you are an employee, self-employed or have a complex tax situation, finding the right software can make a significant difference to your tax filing experience.

Making an informed decision will ensure you have a smooth and accurate tax filing experience.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Consider your specific needs based on working status: Take the time to assess your tax situation and determine the features and functionality you need in a tax application. For employees, consider features that accurately report income, such as deductions for work-related expenses or employee benefits. If you are self-employed, prioritise tax apps with bookkeeping, invoicing and expense tracking features. By evaluating your specific needs, you can choose a tax app that addresses your unique tax situation, simplifies the filing process and maximises deductions or credits.

  2. Language Support: Make sure the tax app has an English interface or extensive language support for ease of navigation and understanding. This is especially important for non-English speakers and expats who prefer to use the app in their native language or a language they are comfortable with. Some tax apps may even offer translations into languages such as Polish or Russian. By choosing a tax app with robust language support, you can confidently enter your tax information, simplify the filing process and maximise your understanding of the app’s functionality.

  3. User Interface: When choosing a tax app, look for an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Look for clear navigation, well-organised sections and instructions that are easy to understand. An easy-to-use interface simplifies the tax filing process and makes for a smoother overall experience. With a well-designed interface, you can navigate the app with confidence, enter your tax information accurately, and complete your return efficiently.

  4. Features and Functionalities: Evaluate the key features offered by each tax app. Look for features such as automated calculations, guided input processes, and assistance with deductions and credits. Assess how well these features align with your specific tax requirements.

  5. User reviews and ratings: Consider user reviews and ratings to gauge the overall performance and reliability of the tax application. Honest feedback from other users can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

  6. Update frequency: Check how often the tax application is updated. Regular updates ensure that you have the latest version, including any changes to tax laws or regulations. A frequently updated application demonstrates the vendor’s commitment to providing an up-to-date and reliable tax filing solution.

  7. Pricing and subscription options: Compare the pricing models and subscription plans of different tax applications. Highlight any differences and consider what is included in each package. It’s important to choose an app with a pricing structure that fits your budget and offers value for money.

To sum up:

By considering these key factors when choosing a German tax return app, you can streamline your tax filing process, ensure compliance, and submit accurate returns. Determine your specific needs, check language support, evaluate the user interface and features, and consider user reviews and ratings. Also evaluate customer support, pricing options and update frequency. With the right tax application, you can simplify your tax filing, maximise your benefits and navigate the tax system with confidence.

Choose wisely and enjoy a stress-free tax filing experience in Germany.

German tax return: when do I need to file it?

The Einkommensteuererklärung (German income tax return) serves as the annual German tax return, allowing individuals to report their income, expenses, deductions and credits, and ultimately determine their tax liability. This essential process plays an important role in calculating income tax owed or potential refunds, ensuring compliance with the German tax system and contributing to the nation’s economy.

As an employee, you regularly contribute to income tax through monthly payments processed by your employer. However, the specific costs and expenses are often unknown. Filing a tax return is crucial if you want to claim a refund. Simply put, if you don’t file, you won’t get a refund.

However, if there have been no significant changes during the year (e.g. marriage or change of tax class) and there are no significant additional income or expenses, filing a tax return is entirely voluntary. However, if the tax authorities require you to file a tax return, they will notify you, usually by post.

It is important to differentiate between mandatory (Pflichtveranlagung) and voluntary (Antragsveranlagung) tax returns.

If you’re looking for more information about the German tax return process and whether it applies to you, please check out our comprehensive English guide on German tax returns.

Reasons to voluntarily file a tax return

Filing a voluntary tax return can be very beneficial for many employees, often resulting in a tax refund. It is worth checking if you have overpaid income tax during the year or if your income-related expenses exceed the lump sum set by the tax authorities (€1,200 in 2023, €1,230 in 2022). Most tax software allows you to enter all the necessary details and calculate your tax refund free of charge.

Here are some situations where it is beneficial to voluntarily file a tax return and save on tax:

Steps to file a tax return in Germany

Filing a tax return in Germany involves several important steps to ensure accurate reporting and compliance.
  • The process begins with gathering the necessary documentation, including income statements, expense receipts and investment statements.
  • Next, you’ll need to determine the correct tax form based on your sources of income and personal circumstances. This includes identifying the main form and any schedules or supplementary forms for specific deductions or credits.
  • Once you’ve got the right forms, you’ll enter your personal and financial information, such as income, deductions and credits, into the tax return software or forms.
  • The software or forms will then calculate your tax liability based on the information provided.
  • After you’ve reviewed and verified the information you’ve entered, it’s time to submit your tax return. If you use tax software, you can usually file electronically directly from the software.
  • Once you’ve submitted your return, the tax authorities will assess and process it. They may send a confirmation letter or ask for additional information if necessary.
  • If you’re entitled to a tax refund, it will be processed and issued accordingly. On the other hand, if you have underpaid your tax, you may receive a demand for payment.
  • It’s important to keep copies of your tax return and supporting documents for future reference.
Remember that the tax filing process in Germany can vary depending on individual circumstances and any changes in tax laws or regulations. It is advisable to keep up to date with the latest information and to consult a tax professional or use reliable tax software to ensure compliance and maximise your tax benefits.

Deadlines for the tax return in Germany

In Germany, there are different deadlines for mandatory and voluntary tax returns:

Mandatory tax returns:
The deadline for individuals to file a tax return is usually 31 July of the year following the end of the tax year. Extensions are possible on formal application.

Voluntary returns:
Individuals who choose to file a voluntary tax return have up to four years from the end of the tax year to file their return.

Professional guidance from tax advisors or associations will ensure accurate and comprehensive returns, maximising benefits and compliance with tax laws. Extended deadlines may be granted to individuals who have received advice.

For detailed information on tax return deadlines in Germany, including specific dates and extensions, it is recommended to visit our English Guide for German tax return. Our website provides comprehensive information about mandatory and voluntary tax return, ensuring that you have accurate and up-to-date information for filing your tax returns.

Income Tax Vocabulary for Germany

When it comes to tax returns, understanding key terms and definitions is essential to navigating the German tax system.

This article breaks down the fundamental aspects of income tax vocabulary, and will guide you in your journey to becoming more tax-savvy.

It covers basic elements such as tax classes and tax brackets, the basic tax-free allowance (Grundfreibetrag), the main tax form used to report income, deductions and credits (Mantelbogen) and additional forms used to report specific types of income or expenses (Anlagen).

These terms form the basis of the German tax filing process and are crucial to effectively managing one’s tax liability.

Understanding these terms is crucial for estimating your tax obligations and potential refunds accurately. With the right knowledge, you can effectively navigate the German tax system and ensure you’re not paying more than necessary. Be sure to consult a tax professional or use reliable tax software to help you with these complex calculations.

Tax classes

In Germany, there are six income tax classes, known as “Steuerklassen”. These classes are assigned based on your marital status, wage level, and specific personal circumstances. Here’s a brief rundown:

  • Class I: For single, divorced, or widowed individuals without children;
  • Class II: For single parents living alone with their children;
  • Class III: For married individuals where the spouse has little or no income or for widowed individuals in the year following their spouse’s death;
  • Class IV: For married couples where both spouses have a similar income;
  • Class V: For the spouse with a smaller income in a couple that chooses to adopt Classes III and V;
  • Class VI: For individuals with income from a second job or multiple jobs.

Tax Brackets

Germany uses a progressive tax system, meaning your tax rate increases as your income increases. Depending on where you are from this may be referred as Tax Brackets, Tax Slabs and others, all of them meaning similar things.

If you are looking for the range of incomes subjected to a particular income tax rate, in the German tax system is called “Steuerprogression”. In Germany, the income tax rate starts at 14% for a taxable income exceeding the basic tax-free allowance. The rate then increases gradually through different tax brackets, reaching a peak rate of 42%. For very high-income levels, the tax rate further jumps to 45%. This progressive tax system ensures that individuals with higher incomes contribute proportionally more to the tax revenue.

Grundfreibetrag (Basic Tax-Free Allowance)

Also known as “Grundfreibetrag”, it is the maximum amount of income in Germany that is not subject to income tax. It acts as a tax-free allowance for each taxpayer, ensuring that they have a certain threshold of income that is exempt from tax.

For the year 2023, the basic tax-free allowance in Germany is set at 10,908 euros for single individuals and 21,816 euros for married couples. This means that individuals earning below these thresholds are exempt from income tax liability.

Mantelbogen (Main Tax Form)

The “Mantelbogen” is the main tax form used in Germany to report various aspects of income, deductions and credits. This form serves as a comprehensive document in which taxpayers disclose information about their financial activities during the tax year. It is a crucial part of the tax return process, ensuring that individuals provide accurate and detailed information to the tax authorities. By completing the Mantelbogen, taxpayers can effectively report their income and claim any applicable deductions or credits, thus ensuring compliance with German tax regulations.

Anlagen (Additional Tax Forms)

“Anlagen” are additional tax forms that accompany the main tax form. They are used to report specific types of income or expenses that are not covered by the main form. These additional forms allow taxpayers to provide detailed information on various sources of income, such as rental income, investment income or charitable donations, together with any applicable deductions relating to these categories of income. By completing the annexes, taxpayers can ensure that all relevant income and deductions are accurately reported, enabling a comprehensive and compliant tax return to be filed in Germany.

Arbeitnehmer-Pauschbetrag (Employee Lump Sum)

The employee lump sum is a standardized deduction that employees in Germany can claim for their work-related expenses. It covers a range of expenses, including work-related travel, uniforms, and tools. Unlike other deductions, taxpayers can claim the employee lump sum without having to provide individual receipts or proof of specific expenses. This simplified approach allows employees to easily benefit from the deduction without the need for extensive documentation, making the tax filing process more streamlined and efficient.

Werbungskosten (Work-Related Expenses)

Work-related expenses known in German as “Werbungskosten” are costs that individuals incur in the course of earning income and can be deducted from their taxable income. These expenses commonly arise from activities directly related to one’s job, such as business education, training, or travel. To claim these deductions, taxpayers are required to provide supporting documentation or receipts that validate the expenses. By substantiating these deductions, individuals can reduce their taxable income, potentially resulting in lower tax liabilities and maximizing their overall tax benefits.

Sonderausgaben (Special Expenses)

Special expenses or “Sonderausgaben” are deductible expenses that are different from work-related expenses or medical expenses. They cover a wide range of costs, including donations to political parties, religious organisations or specific social causes. By claiming deductions for special expenses, taxpayers can reduce their taxable income and potentially lower their overall tax liability. It’s important to note that special expense deductions are subject to specific rules and limitations, and taxpayers should ensure that they comply with the relevant rules when claiming these deductions.

Außergewöhnliche Belastungen (Extraordinary Expenses)

Extraordinary expenses are deductible costs that qualify for a tax deduction if they arise from exceptional circumstances. These circumstances may include significant medical expenses, expenses related to the care of disabled family members, or costs incurred as a result of natural disasters. In order to claim deductions for exceptional expenses, taxpayers must provide documentation and evidence to substantiate the exceptional circumstances. It’s important to carefully review the specific requirements and guidelines set by the tax authorities to ensure compliance and accurate reporting of extraordinary expenses.

Vorsorgeaufwendungen (Pensions and social security contributions)

“Vorsorgeaufwendungen”, which refer to pensions and social security contributions, are payments made by individuals to social security and health insurance schemes. These contributions can be deducted from taxable income, thereby reducing the taxpayer’s overall tax liability. By deducting these contributions, individuals can obtain tax benefits and ensure that they are adequately covered by social security and health insurance in Germany.

Zusammenveranlagung (Joint taxation)

Joint taxation, also known as “Zusammenveranlagung”, allows married couples to file their tax returns together. By combining their income and deductions, they have the opportunity to potentially reduce their overall tax liability. This option allows for a joint assessment of tax, provided that couples meet certain criteria set by the tax authorities. Joint taxation offers a convenient and potentially beneficial approach for married couples to optimise their tax situation in Germany.

Entfernungspauschale (Commuting allowance)

The commuting allowance, known in Germany as the “Entfernungspauschale”, is a standard deduction intended to offset work-related commuting costs. Taxpayers can deduct a certain amount from their taxable income based on the distance they travel for work. The purpose of this deduction is to reduce the financial burden of daily commuting costs by providing taxpayers with some relief from their tax obligations. By taking advantage of the commuting allowance, individuals can effectively reduce their taxable income and potentially lower their overall tax liability.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about tax filing Apps in Germany

Yes, you can use tax filing software in Germany even if you don’t speak German. There are tax filing apps available in Germany with an English-language interface. These apps are specifically designed to cater to non-German speakers, making the tax filing process more accessible and user-friendly.

Tax filing apps in Germany are known for their reliability and accuracy. They are designed to minimize errors and ensure precise calculations, reducing the risk of mistakes that can occur when filing taxes manually.

Tax apps in Germany are developed to comply with the German tax regulations and requirements. They are regularly updated to reflect any changes in tax laws, ensuring that your tax return remains accurate and compliant.

To choose the right tax app as a non-German speaker, consider factors such as the availability of an English-language interface, user-friendliness, compatibility with German tax regulations, accuracy and reliability, customer support in your preferred language, and reviews or recommendations from other users.

Yes, tax apps in Germany can help you maximize your tax refund. They often include tools and prompts to identify potential deductions and credits, ensuring that you take full advantage of tax-saving opportunities.

Yes, tax apps are suitable for both employees and self-employed individuals in Germany. They are designed to accommodate various tax scenarios, making them suitable for individuals with different employment statuses.

Yes, tax apps can assist with submitting tax returns electronically in Germany. They provide a seamless and convenient electronic filing process, allowing you to submit your tax return directly to the tax authorities.

Using tax apps offers several advantages over traditional methods of filing taxes in Germany. Firstly, tax apps offer a streamlined and automated process, reducing the manual effort and paperwork involved. They often offer features such as automated calculations and error checking, ensuring accuracy and minimising the risk of errors. In addition, tax apps offer a user-friendly interface that guides users through the filing process and provides helpful prompts and explanations. They also offer convenience, allowing users to file their tax returns from anywhere, at any time. Overall, tax apps save time, increase accuracy and provide a more efficient and convenient way to file tax returns.

When using tax apps in Germany, it is important to prioritise the security and protection of your tax information. To ensure confidentiality, choose reputable tax apps from trusted providers. Check the app’s privacy policy and data security measures to understand how they handle and protect user data. Look for apps that use encryption technology to protect your information during transmission and storage. In addition, consider apps that comply with relevant privacy laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. You should also use secure networks and keep your device’s operating system and the app itself up to date with the latest security patches. By taking these precautions, you can increase the confidentiality and protection of your tax information when using tax apps in Germany.