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Student job in Germany and tax return

9th Jul 2022

Did you do a work placement in Germany? What obligations do you have as a student?

Obligations related to a student job in Germany

The Income Tax Act No. 595/2003 Coll. applies equally to a student as to another taxpayer. But what does this mean? You may be obliged to file a tax return in your home country, but you may also be able to claim a tax refund from Germany.

What does the term "tax refund" mean?

Simply put, the tax office will refund you the portion of the taxes you paid that your employer withheld from your income as advance tax payments. Any student who has worked abroad and paid taxes is entitled to a refund.

Tax refund = Overpaid tax

Use our online tax calculator to work out how much tax you have overpaid.

Calculate the overpayment

Do I have to file a tax return in Germany?

If you are not obliged to file a tax return but want to claim a tax refund from Germany, you need to file a voluntary tax return. Generally, income is taxed in the country where it is earned. In other words, you can only claim a tax refund in Germany.

How do I apply for a tax refund?

An important prerequisite for a tax refund is to file a German tax return as mentioned above. The tax return is filed on official forms, which can be requested from the relevant German employment office or simply downloaded online.

Documents required for filing your tax return:

  • Annual tax return or Lohnsteuerbescheinigung (issued by your employer at the end of your temporary employment),
  • proof of full-time study.

After the tax settlement in Germany, the relevant tax office will issue you with a "Certificate of Overpayment", which will be refunded to you. You will then submit this certificate as an attachment to your tax return in your home country (if you are obliged to file a tax return in your home country).

I want to claim a tax refund from Germany

Am I obliged to file a tax return in my home country?

In Slovakia, you are obliged to file a tax return if your total taxable income in 2021 exceeds €2,255.72. The tax return must be filed with the relevant tax office on the following form:

  • Type A - if you earned income only from dependent activity or from a student temporary work agreement,
  • type B - if you also received other types of income, e.g. income from winnings in kind, income from the sale of cryptocurrencies or income from a business.

The obligation to file a tax return in your home country is based on residency. Therefore, worldwide income must be reported on the tax return. To ensure that your income is not taxed twice, the income exclusion method will be used in the tax return. You will therefore only pay tax on the income that has not been taxed in another country.

The deadline for filing your tax return was 31 March 2022. However, as you had income from abroad as a student working in Germany, you had the option of applying to the tax office for an extension of the deadline for filing your tax return. If you filed a deferred tax return by 31 March, the deadline for filing a tax return with foreign income was extended to a maximum of 30 September 2022.

The requirements and deadlines are different for every country, so please make sure to look up the right information at your country's government website. In Czech republic for example, the deadline for filing is 4 April and 2 May 2022.

Age limit for filing student tax return:

  • up to 18 years of age - the tax return is filed by the legal representative on behalf of the student, with both his/her personal details and the personal details of the child included in the tax return,
  • from the age of 18 - the student may file the tax return himself/herself.

What else must I remember after my part-time job?

Bring all the documents related to the work abroad. The employment contract or the temporary employment agreement is important. When you leave the job, check that your employer has registered you for social security and that they have paid your insurance premiums for you. If so, be sure to ask for Form E104 or "Certificate of aggregate periods of insurance, employment or residence". This document will be used to prove the period of insurance, which you can later use to claim social insurance benefits. Make sure you keep all documents from abroad!

Important: It is possible to apply for a German tax refund up to 4 years in retrospect.

Need help filing your tax return? Contact us You can also easily process your tax return yourself in our online application.