You have to pay attention to this: Five tax tips at the end of the year: How to save money in 2022

Just submitted your last tax return and already thinking about the next one? That can be worth it.

You have to pay attention to this: Five tax tips at the end of the year: How to save money in 2022

Just submitted your last tax return and already thinking about the next one? That can be worth it. Because if you cleverly plan your expenses around the turn of the year, you may be able to get more back from the tax office. In addition, a few important deadlines end in December, which can also be worth hard cash.

The tax return for 2022 only has to be with the tax office by October 2, 2023. If a tax consultant or wage tax association is involved, even until July 31, 2024. But the relevant tax year ends on December 31. Means: Only costs that are incurred this year can be deducted in the tax return for 2022.

A brief overview of what you should pay attention to at the end of the year:

Most expenses for the job (equipment, commuter allowance, home office, etc.) can only be deducted in the year in which they were incurred. Thanks to the flat-rate income-related expenses, the tax office automatically calculates 1,200 euros in job-related costs for every employee anyway. This means that only if the expenses are higher in a calendar year does this result in an additional tax refund.

Anyone who wants to buy expensive work equipment such as a notebook in the near future can therefore consider in which year it will be cheaper from a tax point of view. If the lump sum is already cracked with certainty in 2022, then a purchase this year will have a tax-reducing effect on the next tax return. If you are above the flat rate every year anyway, it is less important for you in which year you can sell the purchase.

Please note: some work equipment such as a smartphone or desk can only be sold off in the year of purchase up to a price of 952 euros, more expensive things have to be written off over several years. Computers and PC accessories have not been subject to a price limit since 2021.

Health expenses for medicines, treatments and other medically necessary things should also be bundled into one calendar year instead of being divided into two, if possible and not unfavorable for health reasons. Because such medical expenses can only be deducted as special expenses if the reasonable load limit is exceeded. Depending on income and family situation, this is 1 to 7 percent of annual earnings.

In addition to illness and care costs, the "extraordinary burdens" also include funeral costs or replacement costs after a natural disaster such as flooding. Important when allocating the costs to the correct calendar year: the decisive factor is not the date of the invoice, but always the date of payment.

In the case of tradesmen and household-related services, the opposite applies to healthcare expenditure: there are maximum tax deduction limits, which is why it can make sense to spread the costs over several years. For craftsmen services, 20 percent of the costs (excluding material costs) can be deducted up to a total expenditure of 6,000 euros per year (20 percent of which is 1,200 euros). So if you're having your bathroom renovated but have exhausted the maximum amount earlier in the year, it's better not to pay the bill until the new year - as long as the craftsman cooperates.

A maximum of 20,000 euros per calendar year applies to household-related services such as childcare, carers or cleaning help. Up to this amount, 20 percent can also be deducted, i.e. a maximum of 4000 euros per year.

At the end of the year, there are also some application deadlines that can be used to save taxes. Those who are affected should not oversleep them.

Many people help with donations to non-profit organizations just before Christmas. If this is recognized as tax-privileged, the tax authorities reward the good deed: a donation of up to 20 percent of the annual income can be deducted from the tax as a special expense. For amounts up to 300 euros, a bank statement is sufficient as proof; for larger amounts, the recipient must issue an official donation receipt.

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