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

If you are not required to file an income tax return anyway, you can file an application for income tax assessment for reimbursement of excess tax withheld (wage tax, capital gains tax).

An application assessment may be worthwhile in particular if:

  • Your employment relationship has not been uninterrupted for the entire calendar year;
  • You and your spouse or civil partner are assigned to tax class IV;
  • You have incurred income-related expenses, special expenses or extraordinary burdens;
  • You have incurred expenses for household-related services or craftsmen or expenses for energy measures on your owner-occupied home;
  • your tax bracket or the number of child allowances 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; that is, for example, for 2018 generally by December 31, 2022 (deadline postponed to January 2, 2023) and for 2019 generally by December 31, 2023 (deadline postponed to January 2, 2024).


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


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