1. You are required to file your taxes online
Small business owners (Kleinunternehmer*innen) are required to file their tax returns electronically by July 31st following a given tax year, unlike traditional employees who reserve the choice to file electronically or with paper. If small business owners complete their tax returns using a tax consultant, the deadline is extended. You can avoid pouring expenses into pricy tax consultants by filing a tax return with wundertax! Our tool allows you to file your taxes simply and quickly without any prior knowledge, while other online tax tools, such as the Elster software provided by the tax office, can be much more difficult to comprehend due to complicated tax jargon. Wundertax’s tool also provides unique tax tips that point out any unused tax potentials. Once you’re finished with your entries, you can transmit your data immediately and securely to your local tax office, even if you don’t have your own Elster certificate.
Because of the pandemic, tax return deadlines were extended up to and including the 2023 assessment period (Veranlagungszeitraum). The following deadlines apply:
- 2022 Tax Return: Due on September 30th, 2023
- 2023 Tax Return: Due on August 31st, 2024
If you file using a tax consultant, the deadlines are extended as follows:
- Tax Return 2022: July 31st, 2024
- Tax Return 2023: May 31st, 2025
- Tax Return 2024: April 30th, 2026
2. How much can I earn as a small business owner?
The small business regulation (Kleinunternehmerregelung), regulated by §19 of the Sales Tax Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz), simplifies taxes for small companies with low revenue. If your revenue in the previous year (generally the first year of business) does not exceed 22,000 euros and isn’t expected to exceed 50,000 euros in the current calendar year, you can apply for the small business regulation. This can help save you tons of time and bureaucratic effort, as you wouldn’t have to submit a VAT return in advance (Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung) or charge VAT on your invoices. Ensure that you refer to this regulation in every invoice! Each year, small business owners are required to estimate whether their revenue will exceed 50,000 euros. If the limit is exceeded, you will no longer be considered a small business and will be subject to sales tax.
The revenue limit for small business owners during the initial year always refers to a complete calendar year. If you established your business partway through the year, you’re required to calculate the received revenue to correspond to a total annual turnover.
3. How do I apply for the small business regulation?
Upon registration, you will receive a tax number as well as a questionnaire from the tax office (“Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung”) on which you can indicate whether you wish to apply for the small business regulation. You are able to switch to standard taxation (Regelbesteuerung) at any time, an informal letter requesting this generally suffices.
Note: Waiving the small business regulation is binding for a total of 5 years (according to §19 Paragraph 2 UStG).
4. Determine your profits with a revenue surplus statement
Small business owners determine profits and losses with a revenue surplus statement (Einnahmen-Überschuss-Rechnung). Tax offices used to accept an informal calculation, but since 2017, small businesses have to fill out the official tax form EÜR (Anlage EÜR). Revenue income statements offset your operating income against your operating expenses of an entire calendar year. Simply put: Profit = Income - Expenses. The decisive factor is always the point in time that your account receives income and pays expenses. The tax office determines your taxes due based on your profit, which is why tax returns are mandatory for small business owners.
5. Which forms must be submitted with my tax return?
Small business owners are required to file an annual tax return. Different forms are required based on whether your income comes from freelance work (freiberuflicher Tätigkeit) or business enterprising (Gewerbebetrieb). In addition to form EÜR, freelancers are required to enter their income from freelance work in form S (Selbstständige Einkünfte). If you receive income from business enterprises, this income is considered commercial income (gewerbliche Einkünfte) and must be declared to the tax office in form G (Gewerbebetrieb). Form EÜR also includes the AVEÜR attachment (Anlage AVEÜR) for your fixed and current assets.
With wundertax’s tax tool, you don’t need to worry about complete forms and tricky tax lingo. Our easy-to-understand tax interview guides you step-by-step through your tax return and fills out all the complicated tax forms in the background for you. During the process, you’ll receive tips and tricks for specific entries – and if you should have any questions or experience any issues you can always reach out to our technical customer support team. No need to spend a ton of money on tax consultants or fight your way all alone through the tax return jungle – wundertax offers you the optimal solution!