In 2020, 3.3 million objections were filed to tax assessment notices – and most of them were well justified! More than two-thirds of the objections were – at least partially – successful for the taxpayers! Once you have finally received your tax assessment notice (Steuerbescheid), it should in any case be closely examined and checked for errors. It is usually not a good idea to simply put the income tax assessment notice in the file without thoroughly examining it.
When checking your tax assessment notice, pay particular attention to the „Erläuterung zur Festsetzung“ (Explanation of the assessment). In the explanatory text at the end of the notice, the tax office must state if and why it has not recognised certain expenses or special expenses! Unfortunately, some of the wording is „officialese“ and sometimes difficult to understand. If you do not understand something, it can therefore be helpful to simply call the person in charge and ask for a verbal explanation.
If you have found an error or have accidentally made a mistake yourself when submitting your tax return, you have the option of submitting an amendment to the tax assessment notice through an objection.
Do not lose time
The time limit for lodging an objection is generally one month after the tax assessment notice has been issued. You can also find the deadline in the instructions on appealing the tax assessment notice. The prerequisite for an objection to your tax assessment notice is that you are disadvantaged by the tax assessment notice in some way.
Here are the most important grounds for objection:
- You have forgotten to claim expenses.
- The tax office has not recognised income-related expenses (travel expenses, study, certain work equipment, etc.) or special expenses.
- The claimed costs for household-related services were not taken into account by the tax office.
- The tax office did not apply taxpayer-friendly rulings and administrative instructions.
- The tax office simply miscalculated!
You can also find corresponding sample letters for an objection at SteuerGo!
Tip: With the tax assessment checker, SteuerGo supports you in checking your tax assessment notice for deviations and provides helpful tips for filing an objection. Depending on where SteuerGo detects a deviation from your tax return, the application will offer you further reasons for objection from which you can choose.
Check your tax assessment notice for free
The tax office may not charge any fees for the review – even if the alleged error is correct in the end. An objection does not normally result in any disadvantages for you (exception: „Reformatio in peius“).
After the objection has been submitted, the tax authority examines the tax assessment notice in detail. First, the tax officer decides whether the objection is admissible. This is because an objection may be admissible but not justified on the merits and therefore rejected. If the tax office agrees with you on all points raised in your objection, you will receive a new, corrected tax assessment notice at the end of the objection procedure.
Unfortunately, not every objection leads to success. But not everything is lost. Within one month after receipt of the objection decision, you can file a lawsuit at the responsible tax court. In this case, you should be represented by a professional tax lawyer.