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For which years can I still submit an income tax return?

If you are not obliged to submit an income tax return anyway, you can apply for an income tax assessment in order to receive a refund of excess tax deductions (wage tax, capital gains tax).

An application for assessment may be particularly worthwhile if:

  • Your employment relationship has not been uninterrupted for the entire calendar year;
  • You and your spouse or partner are assigned to tax class IV;
  • You have incurred income-related expenses, special expenses or extraordinary expenses;
  • You have incurred expenses for household-related services or tradesmen or expenses for energy-related measures in your owner-occupied home;
  • your tax class or the number of tax-free allowances for children has changed in your favor during the year;
  • withheld capital gains tax is to be credited.

In these cases, you must submit your tax return by the end of the fourth calendar year following the year of assessment; e.g. for 2019 by December 31, 2023 (deadline postponed to January 2, 2024) and for 2020 by December 31, 2024.


It is best to submit your income tax return electronically via ELSTER and use the pre-filled tax return. The electronic input aid will help you fill it in.

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