The German rules for general compliance are very strict and formal. You need to be very careful and disciplined to avoid surprises when having a tax audit. For the tax auditor it is a lot easier to check the formalities than the tax issues.
To give you an idea what German tax compliance is like let me point out the major tax events within a year:
1. General compliance – 10th February – Applying for deadline extension VAT
Until February 10th you need to apply for a deadline extension regarding VAT if you have to file your VAT advanced returns on a monthly basis. You will have to make an extra prepayment of 1/11 of the former year VAT. This 1/11 will be credited with the VAT advanced return for December. If you have this deadline extension you have one more month for each VAT advanced return.
If you only have to file your advanced VAT returns every quarter of a year you do not have to apply for a deadline extension.
2. General Compliance – 10th March – VAT advanced return for January
If you have a deadline extension you will have to file your VAT advanced return for Januay until 10th of March. If you are doing your VAT returns only every three month and if you have a deadline extension you will have to file the VAT advanced return for the first quarter of the year until 10th of May.
3. General Compliance – 31st December
If you have a tax consultant the deadline for your tax declarations usually is 31st of December of the following year. The companies have to send their balance sheets to the commercial register and the tax balance sheet to the Financial Authorities.
Please see further details for general compliance in Germany in the following articles.
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