Best Tax Return Software in Germany [2021 Expat Guide]

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Remember the days of cringing at the thought of your tax return. Well, guess what? They are over. Thanks to the best tax return software in Germany, you can file your tax return 100% digitally in as little as 15 minutes. 

How do you get your taxes back in Germany?

To get some of your taxes back in Germany, you need to file a tax return at the end of the calendar year. I have written a detailed article on how you can submit your tax declaration in Germany in which I outline four possible ways:

1. Use a tax return online software
2. Use a tax consultant  
3. Become a member of a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein
4. Use ELSTER – the official German tax authorities online form

In this article, I will focus on the best tax return online software in Germany.

Which is the best tax return software in Germany?

Every tax return software listed below does what they are supposed to; however, some have limitations, while others have useful add-ons. Take a look and choose the software provider that best fits your needs.

Here are our picks for the best tax return software in Germany this year. All listed software providers offer their services in English and cost less than 40 euros.

1. SteuerGo

Steuergo homepage
Source: SteuerGo

SteuerGo calculates your tax return online for free. Once you decide to upgrade to SteuerGo Plus to submit your tax return, it forwards your data and documents reliably to the tax office via the official ELSTER system. The functions of the tax software are intuitive and easy to use. Should you have any questions or need help, you can contact the English customer service. SteuerGo is also available in Russian and four other Eastern European languages. SteuerGo Plus costs 29,95 euros per tax year, and you can submit up to two tax returns for the same tax year.

SteuerGo pricing options
Source: SteuerGo

SteuerGo Benefits:

✅ Free trial
✅ 2 tax returns per tax year included
✅ No installation needed
✅ Works on all devices – Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android
✅ Easy data entry
✅ Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Checklist for tax documents
✅ Verification of the entries
✅ Customer support in English by phone and email
✅ Customized tax tips
✅ Supports complex situations such as: self-employed, income abroad or from property, pensions, married with children, etc..
✅ Tax return in 20 minutes

2. Wundertax

wundertax homepage
Source: wundertax

wundertax is a German fintech company, running their tax return software in English for expats under the domain germantaxes.de. Wundertax also forecasts your tax return with a live-calculation while you enter your data; however, you need to create an account beforehand. Once you submit your tax refund, wundertax costs 34,95 euros for one tax return per year or 89,95 euros for three tax returns. wundertax claims that you can submit your tax return in 15 minutes and only works for simple cases. If you are self-employed, have a look at the cases wundertax does not support yet.

wundertax next steps for tax return
Source: wundertax

Wundertax Benefits:

✅ Free tax calculation
✅ No installation needed
✅ Works on all devices – Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android
✅ Easy data entry
✅ High TÜV approved data security
✅ Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Customer support in English, Spanish, and Italian
✅ Customized tax tips
✅ Tax return in 15 minutes

Wundertax Drawbacks:

⛔️ Does not support all self-employment tax

3. Smartsteuer

smartsteuer homepage
Source: smartsteuer

smartsteuer is available in 58 languages (by integrated Google translations), so you might even be able to file your taxes in your mother tongue. Smartsteuer also offers a free tax calculator, where you can enter all of your data. Should you wish to proceed and use smartsteuer to file your tax return, you can transfer your data to a free user account and then pay for submitting your files in less than an hour.

Smartsteuer costs 34,99 euros and includes five tax returns per year, making it a great tool to file your tax return for the past four years at once (in case you have procrastinated until now). 

Source: smartsteuer translated by Google

Smartsteuer Benefits:

✅ Free trial
✅ 5 tax returns per year included 
✅ No installation needed
✅ Works on all devices – Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android
✅ Simple language with detailed explanations
✅ High TÜV approved data security
✅ Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Verification of the entries
✅ Customer support in English via email
✅ Customized tax tips
✅ Supports complex situations such as: self-employed, income abroad or from property, pensions, married with children, etc..
✅ Compares tax return to actual tax assessment received 
✅ Tax return in less than 60 minutes

4. Taxfix

taxfix homepage
Source: Taxfix

Taxfix is another German Fintech company striving to make peoples’ lives easier when it comes to taxes. Taxfix differentiates itself by offering an intuitive app. You can photograph documents to upload their information to the app. With an interview-style questionnaire, you can submit your tax declaration in 22 minutes. Taxfix is available in English, French, and Italian, however, only for employees. It does not support self-employed or other complex situations

Should your calculated tax return be less than 50 euros and you are not obliged to file a tax return, submitting it via Taxfix is free of charge. Otherwise, it costs 39,99 euros.

taxfix USPs
Source: Taxfix

Taxfix Benefits:

✅ Free tax calculation
✅ No installation needed
✅ Intuitive app with photo option to upload your documents
✅ Easy data entry interchangeable between phone and desktop
✅ Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Customer support in English, French, and Italian
✅ Customized interview questions to save time
✅ Tax return in 22 minutes
✅ Free to use with less than 50 euros tax refund

Taxfix Drawbacks:

⛔️ Does not support self-employment tax

5. Taxando

Taxando homepage
Source: Taxando

Taxando also offers an intuitive app in English, Polish, and Russian. You can upload or photograph your employment tax statement and start adding your details. Taxando’s unique feature is the ability to consult a tax adviser if your situation is more complex. The standard version costs 33,80 euros per tax declaration, and the Steuer++ with individual tax advice starts at 99 euros per tax declaration.

taxando pricing
Source: Taxando

Taxando Benefits:

✅ Free tax calculation
✅ No installation needed
✅ Works on all devices – Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android
✅ Easy data entry
✅ Intuitive app with photo option to upload your documents
✅ Easy data entry interchangeable between phone and desktop
✅ Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Customer support in English, Spanish, and Italian
✅ Customized tax tips
✅ Tax return in 15 minutes
✅ Option to consult tax adviser 

Conclusion

Filing your tax return has never been easier thanks to these new-age software providers and apps. For regular employees, Taxfix had the best usability during my test, whereas SteuerGo is the most affordable option supporting almost all taxpayer categories.

Disclaimer: Neither myself as the author of this article, nor Simple Germany as a business, are qualified to provide tax advice under German law. We cannot provide specialist tax services beyond any of the general tips contained herein. For tax advice, we strongly recommend you consult a professional tax consultant. 

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Yvonne
About the author: Yvonne was born and raised in Germany and has lived in the United States, France, and Spain. She understands the struggle of settling in a new home and is happy to share simple services and tips on how things are done in her home country, to help expats get their German experience started.