Here is my situation:

  • I lived in Germany from 2018 to 2020.
  • I did my tax return in 2019 for 2018.
  • I left Germany in March 2020.

Some details:

  • I do not have a spouse or dependent.
  • I only had 1 employer.
  • I did not have any extra source of income.

Theoretically, I can send a tax return document now for 2019, and next year for 2020. The question is: If I am not interested in getting money back, am I obliged to do it?

Thank you very much!

  • 1
    I don't think you need to do it but you can probably get a fair amount back from the taxes for 2020.
    – Tomas By
    Jul 2, 2020 at 1:48
  • 1
    Based on the 3 given points, you are not obliged to submit a tax return. When required, this must be done before the 1st of August (if its being done by a tax lawyer (Steuerberater), then by the 1st of March 2021). Otherwise you have 4 years, so you can do both 2019 and 2020 together in January. As noted in the previous comment, for 2020 well worth the effort. Jul 2, 2020 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


The easiest way is to look at your tax bracket. As a single person with no dependents it should be "Steuerklasse 1" (tax bracket 1). That means the Finanzamt (tax authorities) already got the maximum tax amount directly from your paycheck. If you are "Steuerklasse 1" and your only real income is from your normal employment, you are not required to declare taxes at all. The tax authorities already got the maximum they could from you, if you declare your taxes, you would either come out the same or get money back. They are happy to not hear from you and keep the maximum they already got.

You only need to declare taxes if you made money through other means than normal employment (self-employed, company owner, property owner) or if you have a tax bracket other than "Steuerklasse 1", which means you claimed to have to pay less taxes than normal (for example because you have a wife and kids) and then you have to prove your claim.


As a single employee, the tax authorities already robbed you blind and are happy to keep your money and never hear from you again. If you don't want anything back, just do nothing.

  • Thank you very much
    – andrerpena
    Jul 6, 2020 at 16:24

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