Banking and Tax Matters

Make sure you carry out these essential tasks when leaving Germany...

Banking

A German bank account should be kept open for a short period to settle final bills (in Euros).

Speak to the bank before departure to check what documentation will be required to close an account. Some banks reserve the right to charge for closing an account.

Credit card companies will also need to be notified of a new address for statements.

Tax

The tax system in Germany is known to be one of the most complicated in the world. Most people make use of a tax advisor to fill out their tax returns and it would be wise to check that the extent of any remaining tax liability is understood before departure. As well as consulting a tax advisor, a visit to the local tax office (Finanzamt) is advisable.

As a general rule everyone who is employed completes a tax return in Germany. Even retirees with investment income should complete one.

The tax year in Germany is 1 January to 31 December. The deadline for filing a tax return is always 31 May of the following year. This can be extended until the end of September if a tax advisor is filing the tax return or on written confirmation from the tax office.

It may take the tax office several months to confirm whether any refunds or additional payments are due.