German tax law is one of the most complicated in the world – no wonder even many tax professionals don't know all the deductible items. M” magazine regularly publishes up-to-date tips that can help taxpayers save money. Today the topic is mobility.
The state's tax revenues are at record levels – so relief for citizens is actually overdue. At least there are a few small improvements in the coming year.
Single persons have from 1. January in the income tax a basic allowance of 9.168 euros. That's 168 euros more than in 2018. In future, married couples will be entitled to 18.336 euros more than in the past. The income remains tax-free up to this amount. At the same time, the maximum tax rate of 42 percent only starts at annual taxable incomes of 55.961 euros and 111 respectively.922 euros to be paid. Up to now, the tax authorities have already been taking action for amounts of more than 54 euros.950 or 109.900 euros at 42 percent.
There is also more money for children. From 1. July 2019 the state adds 204 euro per month for the first and second child. So far, the child benefit amounts to 194 euros. For the third child the rate rises from 200 to 210 and for the fourth child from 225 to 235 euros. The child allowance will also be raised: it will increase by 96 euros to 2490 euros per child and parent, explains the Taxpayers' Association. The tax-free allowance for care, education or training needs remains unchanged at 1.320 euros per child and parent. In total, therefore, a parent couple will be entitled to a child allowance per child in 2019 of 7.620 Euro granted.
There is also a relief in unemployment insurance. In this case, the rate will decrease from three percent to 2.5 percent. This will make nursing care insurance more expensive. In the future, citizens will pay 3.05 percent of their taxable income for them. Previously, only 2.55 percent was due. For those without children, the contribution will increase from 3.05 to 3.30 percent. The bottom line is that the changes in social contributions are a zero-sum game.
Tax benefits for electric company cars, hybrid vehicles and company bicycles
Those who use an electrically powered company car or a hybrid vehicle previously had to pay tax on private use at a rate of one percent of the list price per calendar month. For e-cars purchased after 31. December are purchased, this value now drops to 0.5 percent. The new rule also applies to externally rechargeable hybrid electric vehicles. With a gross list price of, for example, 60.000 euros is then only 300 euros per month instead of the previous 600 euros to be taxed as a benefit in kind. However, this tax benefit is limited until 31. December 2021. If the private use is determined by a logbook, there is a halving of the depreciation or leasing costs. The provision of a company bicycle or e-bike, also for private use, is covered from 1. January 2019 tax-free. However, this only applies to bicycles with an assisting electric motor, for which insurance is not mandatory.
Users of public transport can also rejoice: job tickets are completely tax-free from January 2019. The aim is to strengthen public transport. However, the tax-free services are counted towards the distance allowance.
Health promotion by employers
Going to the gym, on the other hand, is more complicated – at least in terms of tax treatment. The tax exemption of 500 euros per year by the employer for health promotion is now linked to certification of the measure. For non-certified measures already started this year 2018, the certification obligation will only apply from 2020.
Special depreciation for new rental housing construction and child construction allowance
Lack of housing in Germany. To stimulate construction activity, the legislature has taken two new measures. For rented residential buildings, there is a special depreciation of five percent per year for the first four years after completion in addition to the normal straight-line depreciation. This brings the total depreciation over the four years to 28 percent. Provides that the construction cost per square foot 3.000 euros and the property is rented out for ten years. Basis of assessment are the acquisition or manufacturing costs up to a maximum of 2.000 Euro. In addition, the construction application or notice must be submitted between 31. August 2018 and 1. January 2022 must have taken place. For the purchase or construction of an owner-occupied apartment or house, a construction child allowance of 1 annually is paid for each child in the household for whom child benefits are available.200 euros paid for a period of ten years. So that adds up to 12.000 euros per child. Requirement is that the annual household income is 90.000 Euro plus 15.000 euros per child is not exceeded. The income of the year before last and the year before last before the application is used for this purpose. A child born after the application is submitted is not taken into account. In addition, the building allowance only applies to real estate whose purchase or building permit was issued after 1 January 2009. January 2018 has been made.
More time for the tax return
From the 2018 tax year, everyone has two months more time for their tax return. Instead of by the end of May, as was previously the case, the documents must in future always be submitted by 31 December, according to the VZ NRW. July be submitted. There is also a longer period if a tax consultant or a wage tax assistance association helps.