You can take a full four years to submit a voluntary tax return. But if you postpone the submission to the last, you could still end up with nothing – if you make this mistake.
It sounds pretty relaxed at first: If you are allowed to submit your tax return voluntarily, the tax office will grant you up to four years to do so. But as is often the case with deadlines: You like to exhaust them until just before a little. That could cost you dearly, however.
Because if you submit your voluntary declaration on time, but to the wrong tax office, you have to expect that it will be rejected as late – and the hoped-for tax refund will not be made.
Tax return must reach the responsible tax office in good time
This is exactly what an employee had to find out when he dropped his tax return in the night mailbox of the tax office on New Year’s Eve – but not with the person responsible for him. The voluntary declaration was then forwarded to the correct tax office, but only after the turn of the year. The result: The responsible tax office refused to process the declaration, arguing that the submission deadline had expired.
The tax office was thus in the right, as the Federal Fiscal Court decided: It is sufficient that the documents are thrown in the mailbox of the correct tax office. But this was not the case in this case. The court therefore confirmed the tax office’s refusal to process the tax case (Ref .: VI R 37/17).
Late tax returns can be worthwhile
Taxpayers can, in principle, submit their tax returns to all tax offices, but then there is the risk that the declaration will not arrive at the really competent body on time. If you only submit your declaration shortly before the deadline, you should therefore check which tax office is responsible for you.
“This is sometimes not easy, especially in large cities,” says Isabel Klocke from the Taxpayers’ Association. Help is available, for example, from the Federal Central Tax Office, which has a on its website Search function offers.
If you are sure that your voluntary tax return will reach the right tax office on time, it can be wise to wait a long time before submitting it. You can find out here why it is worthwhile declaring your taxes retrospectively.