Hartz IV becomes citizen income, pensions increase, and a popular ticket returns (more expensive). Numerous changes are coming to the citizens in the new year. An overview:
Electricity and gas price brakes
Many gas and electricity customers can expect relief from March, when the planned price brakes should start. Gas consumers are to be guaranteed a gross price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their current consumption. Similarly, 40 cents per kilowatt hour are planned for electricity. The benefits should also apply retrospectively for January and February after the start.
Citizens' income replaces the Hartz IV system in January. The payments in the basic security increase by more than 50 euros, single people will receive 502 euros in the future. Significant parts of the reform will not come into force until July 1st. The job centers should be able to take better care of the unemployed. The placement in permanent work instead of simple helper jobs should be better than before.
In the new year, you should be able to use local public transport for 49 euros a month throughout Germany. It is still unclear when the successor to the 9-euro ticket will start. It was originally supposed to start in early 2023. Now April 1st is under discussion.
On January 1st, the child benefit will increase to a flat rate of 250 euros per month and child. That means a plus of 31 euros for the first and second child and a plus of 25 euros per month for the third child.
Pensioners can probably expect more money in the coming year. In western Germany, pensions are expected to rise by around 3.5 percent in July and by a good 4.2 percent in eastern Germany. The dates are provisional and will be clear in the spring.
Rising health insurance contributions
For the insured, the health insurance contributions - currently an average of 15.9 percent - will probably be increased by 0.3 points to an average of 16.2 percent.
More households are to be relieved from January with a state subsidy: up to 1.4 million more households are to be added to the 600,000 housing benefit households so far. The housing allowance is also to be increased by an average of 190 euros per month. This means that eligible households receive an average of around 370 euros per month. Households that do not receive social benefits but still have little money can apply for housing benefit. This applies to both tenants and owners of apartments and houses who use their own home.
The basic tax allowance - i.e. the income up to which no tax has to be paid - increases by 561 euros to 10,908 euros. The top tax rate of 42 percent, which is currently applicable from a taxable income of 58,597 euros, will be due next year from 62,810 euros.
Contribution to unemployment insurance
The contribution to unemployment insurance increases by 0.2 percentage points to 2.6 percent. The contribution fell in two steps to 2.4 percent in 2019/2020 - but even then it was planned that it would rise again in early 2023. Half of the contribution is paid by the employer and half by the employee.
Energy flat rate for students
Students and technical students should receive a flat rate of 200 euros to mitigate the increased costs. Around 2.95 million students who were enrolled at a university in Germany as of December 1 are eligible to apply. The federal and state governments are still working on a central application platform, and the money is expected to be paid out at the beginning of the year.
No vaccinations for nursing staff
The compulsory vaccination for employees in clinics and nursing homes, which has been in force since March, will no longer apply on January 1st. The reason is that the currently dominant corona variants of the immune response of people who have been vaccinated or recovered are better able to escape than before, according to ministry circles.
Promotion of electric cars
Buyers of plug-in hybrid vehicles will no longer receive federal funding from 2023. In addition, the premiums for purely electric vehicles are falling. Funding will be limited to private individuals as of September 1st.
Air conditioning fee for heating
From January, landlords will in many cases have to contribute to their tenants' climate tax for heating. The so-called CO2 price is divided between tenants and landlords according to a tiered model. The less climate-friendly the house is, the more the landlord has to take on. So far, tenants have had to pay the levy, which is intended to help reduce climate-damaging carbon dioxide emissions.
Deadline for property tax returns
House and apartment owners must submit their property tax return by the end of January. The original deadline was the end of October. Because of the slow entrance it was lengthened.
Higher home office flat rate
In the future, instead of 600, up to 1260 euros home office flat rate can be applied to the tax return. The lump sum is one of the income-related expenses, for which all taxpayers are charged 1230 euros anyway. Only those who get over this amount with a home office flat rate and other expenses benefit.
Electronic certificate of incapacity for work
From 2023 onwards, employers are obliged to participate in the notification procedure for the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU). Sick employees who are legally insured no longer have to present their employer with a paper certificate of incapacitation, but in practice they receive a printout for their documents.
Changes in midi jobs
In the case of so-called midi jobs, the earnings limit increases. Employees in this group may earn 2,000 euros instead of 1,600 euros in the future. Up to this limit, employees have to pay lower social security contributions.
In mid-April, the last German nuclear reactors will go offline. The Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland power plants should have been shut down at the turn of the year as part of the nuclear phase-out, but the term was extended due to the energy crisis.
Taxes on cigarettes, cigarillos and tobacco are increasing. Packs of 20 cigarettes will cost an average of 18 cents more in future.
Tax concession for LPG
Anyone who fills up their vehicle with autogas, also known as LPG, will have to dig deeper into their pockets from 2023. A tax concession expires and the regular tax rate of 409 euros per ton applies. However, according to the ADAC, the taxes are cheaper than for petrol or diesel.
There are simplifications for owners of solar systems in the new year. For some systems, there is no obligation to have a special generator electricity meter installed. Some regulations of the new Renewable Energy Sources Act 2023 are already taking effect.
The truck toll on Germany's trunk roads will be increased in 2023. Noise and air pollution costs are given more consideration when calculating the rates.
In the future, restaurants, bistros and cafés will also have to offer drinks and food for on the go in reusable containers.
Supply Chain Law
From 2023, the Supply Chain Act will apply to companies with more than 3000 employees. The aim is to protect human rights in international supply chains. It obliges companies to react to abuses when purchasing material from abroad. Aid organizations and trade unions are given the opportunity to represent those affected before German courts in the event of violations.