Prevent your interests and other investment incomes from being taxed!
Incomes from investment are for example:
For this kind of income, you have to pay the flat withholding tax ("Abgeltungssteuer"). That means 25% of the income from investment plus the solidarity tax, 5.5% of the flat withholding tax = 26.375% plus under circumstances the church tax ("Kirchensteuer"). That was the bad news. The good news is that there is a tax-free amount ("Freibetrag") of 801 Euro for singles and 1602 Euro for married couples. In order to take advantage of that tax-free amount, you have to fill a form (just one page) called "Freistellungsauftrag" (exemption order for capital gains). This form should be available at your bank. If you have accounts at several banks, you have to submit a "Freistellungsauftrag" for each. Take care that the sum (you apply to be tax-free) doesn't exceed 801/1602 Euro.Even if you earn only some Euro interest from your savings, make shure that you do a "Freistellungsauftrag" to protect your gains from being taxed.
If you forget to do a "Freistellungsauftrag", and the flat withholding tax is subtracted, you have the possibility to apply for a tax refund by filing a tax return.
There is still one option to be discussed, since you can also opt to let your incomes from investment be taxed by the income tax. Either way the flat withholding tax will be subtracted first, but you can list this incomes in your tax return. That only makes sense if you really pay lesser by this way, so do the math before. If your tax relevant income from sources other than investment (for example work) is more than 14,000 Euro, the tax rate for the additional invetment income will be already higher than the 25% of the flat withholding tax. So check first before you opt for this way.
German Pension refund: Are you eligible?
You are going to leave Germany? Use my Pension Refund Check to find out if you can refund your contributions paid to the German pension fund!