It might take longer than usual to get your tax refund this year
If, like many other people who live and work in Germany, you will soon submit your annual tax return in hope of a refund, you might have to wait a while until the money lands in your bank account. According to a report in Bild, the tax offices are currently overloaded, and delays are likely.
Tax offices in Germany overloaded, delays likely
The energy relief package passed by Germany’s traffic light government earlier this year has included a lot of much-needed financial cushioning for consumers, but it’s also proving, in true German style, to be a bit of an administrative headache for government agencies.
This is because the 300-euro energy relief payment in particular, which was also paid out to pensioners in December, is subject to income tax and so, for many people, the policy will change their tax liability. More people than usual will therefore be submitting a tax return, piling additional work on the responsible tax offices and likely causing delays in how quickly they can send out tax assessments and issue refunds.
Delayed refunds pile pressure on consumer finances
Florian Köbler, head of the tax union, told Bild the additional tax administration amounted to a “horror.” He said, “The number of tax returns has skyrocketed and the tax offices, which are already working to the limit, can no longer keep up with the processing.”
“Citizens must therefore be prepared for months of delays. This is particularly bitter for people who have planned tax refunds in their budget,” he said to Bild. “Because they have to wait longer until the payout ends up in their account.”
CDU social expert Dennis Radtke told Bild that the delays amount to a scandal when so many people are already facing overstretched finances. He suggested that, just in the way taxpayers must pay penalties if they are late settling their tax bill, perhaps the tax office should also pay compensation to those who receive their refunds with a delay.