Do I need to file a tax return or not?
Free "tax check" helps pensionersBonn, 10/19/2009, 11:30 AM CEST
Since the start of October, fiscal authorities have been increasingly approaching pensioners who have not yet filed a tax return. Not everyone, however, is automatically required to file. As a lobbying organization for seniors, the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen e.V. (BAGSO-German National Association of Senior Citizens' Organization) is working together with the Deutsche Post Pension Service to offer a "tax check" online to all seniors interested in finding out if they have a filing obligation.
The tax check is free and not only provides individual answers to the question of who is required to file a tax return and who isn't. Seniors can also find out, for example, what effect the flat tax will have on their personal finances, which tax allowances can be used or what statutory changes in life insurance taxation mean. For expert tax advice, BAGSO and the Pension Service are working together with tax experts from Vereinigte Lohnsteuerhilfe e. V., Germany's largest income tax assistance society.
The Alterseinkünftegesetz (German retirement income act) requires approximately 3.5 million pension recipients to file an income tax return. Many of those affected are unclear about the legal position - and hence also about the tax relief options that are often available to them. "The tax check allows us to throw some light on the subject, provide valuable information and clarity," emphasized Walter Link, Chairman of BAGSO.
According to Uwe Ringling, Head of the Pension Service at Deutsche Post, "The collaboration between operation BAGSO and Deutsche Post's Pension Service is a good foundation for more joint projects in the future."
The tax check can found on the BAGSO website at www.bagso.de/steuern.html as well as on the website of Pension Service at www.rentenservice.de/steuern.