How to get a tax rebate for moving in Germany

Did you know that if you move in Germany you will almost certainly get some money back from the tax office? 

How’s that for some good news – every time you relocate, you can get a tax rebate for moving in Germany!  As your trusted partner for cheap removals in Germany, we can explain just how to do this and how much you can expect to receive back.  If you still have any questions after reading this, then feel free to get in touch with us via WhatsApp, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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Your tax refund depends on whether your move is considered for:

Professional reasons

Private reasons

Deducting tax for a move: Professional reasons

Let’s start with the professional reasons. In this case the costs of your move can be categorized as a professional outlay (Werbungskosten) in the tax return. This means that your income tax is reduced proportionally to the moving costs in the year in which you move. Ideally, you should ask your employer beforehand whether they can cover these costs. For your employer, the costs are considered as operating costs and they can write them off significantly easier than you could as a private person. If that is not possible, then fear not, you will still get a portion back.

In order for your move to fall under the heading “professional reasons” („berufliche Gründe“), certain conditions must be met:

  • time saved when commuting: you should be able to demonstrate that the journey to work is 30+ minutes shorter.
  • change of job: if you have a new job or you have to move to keep your job.
  • moving back to Germany: if you lived as a German citizen abroad and are now returning to take a job in Germany.

Below is a list of the costs that can be deducted. Remember to keep all receipts for these! Therefore, think carefully about who you book your move with. You can find below-market rates in the black economy, and where the cash-in-hand rate might sound attractive, but without an invoice, no repayment (and often low quality). And at Smoovr we will of course issue an invoice so that you can simply attach it to your tax return. Moreover, we guarantee top quality service from moving professionals.

  • Moving costs
  • Viewing costs: 30cent / km for viewing new properties
  • Double rental payments: You can also deduct the rent for your old apartment as a professional outlay for up to 6 months
  • New rent: If you cannot move in immediately, up to 3 months’ rent can also be claimed as a professional outlay
  • An oven up to 230 euros
  • Repairs for items damaged during transport

Overview of Lump Sums

“Other moving costs” („sonstige Umzugskosten“) can be billed as lump sums. That means you don’t even have to show an invoice for:

  • Renovation of your old apartment (Smoovr can also help you out here and organize all craftsmen)
  • Hanging lamps by an electrician (we’ve got plenty of electricians in our network)
  • Kitchen installation
  • Renewing your ID card, re-registering your car and changing your phone and internet connection
End date of the moveSingleSupplement for every additional person in the household
1. Juni 2020860€573€

The following are defined as other people in your household: spouse, life partner and children who live in the family.

Deducting tax for a move: Private reasons

If the above requirements for a professional move are not met, then you can still claim moving costs for a private move. Here, the costs are not offset as a professional outlay, but rather fall under “household services” („haushaltsnahen Dienstleistungen“). Every household can claim up to €20,000 a year, of which the tax office will then reimburse 20%. For example, for a family that books a move through Smoovr from Berlin to Munich, you pay around 1500€. In this case, you can expect a refund of €300 (€1500 * 20% = €300).

If you are planning to move soon, and would like to get an offer at great price and with excellent service, just click here and fill out our questionnaire. We’ll make sure your move is smooth, and also offer all the guidance you need to ensure you get a tax rebate for moving in Germany!

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