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5 things you didn’t know you could claim on tax 

Written by Tino Keller, Managing Director & Founder of Accountable Germany
Updated on
Read in 3 minutes

If you’re self-employed, you probably have quite a few expenses. Fortunately, you can deduct a large part of these so-called business expenses from your taxes and thus reduce your own tax burden.

However, many self-employed people are not even aware that they can really deduct some of their expenses. That’s why we’re going to reveal 5 things in this article that you wouldn’t have thought you could deduct from your taxes.

1. Costs for a tax consultant

It sounds strange, but it’s true: If you get support from a tax advisor when preparing your tax documents, then you can deduct these costs from your taxes.

This is a great option, especially for self-employed people who are just starting out, because taxes in Germany are quite complicated and having a professional accountant on your side not only makes things go much faster, but you can also prevent potential mistakes – or forgotten business expenses – and get the most out of your tax return.

➡️ Thinking about becoming self-employed Part 2: Taxes, taxes, taxes

💡Tip from Accountable: If you can’t afford a tax accountant but still need help with various tax topics, our app is a great alternative. With Accountable, you can create invoices, digitize your expenses and income, and virtually save all your tax-related receipts in one spot.

2. Gifts

As a freelancer, it’s important to build a good relationship with your clients – and small gifts can be helpful.That’s why there are many freelancers who surprise their clients with small gifts on certain occasions, such as Christmas or when successfully completing a project.

You can actually deduct the costs for these gifts from your taxes. However, you can only claim 35 euros per person per year – and the prerequisite is, of course, that the recipient is a customer or business partner. If you have spent more on a gift, you cannot claim the complete expenses, but only the 35 euros mentioned. 

💡Tip from Accountable: If you have employees and want to gift them something nice, you can claim the full price as a business expense. The employee receives the gift tax-free, provided it is not worth more than 60 euros. 

➡️ Here’s all you need to know about hiring people as a freelancer

3. Company outings and team building

If you employ people as a self-employed person, you will certainly organize one or two team events a year. The company Christmas party, for example, or a summer party are both good ways to improve the working atmosphere and contribute to team building.

You can deduct the costs of these events from your taxes – as long as they don’t exceed 110 euros per employee. The considered costs include, for example, admission tickets, travel expenses, restaurant receipts, location rent or fees for trainers, speakers or artists.

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4. Donating to a good cause

If you donate money to charity, you can deduct it from your taxes as a self-employed person. You simply have to declare the costs as a special expense, or Sonderausgabe in German, in your tax return.

However, your donation must meet the following requirements in order to be recognized as such:

  • It must serve a charitable, benevolent or ecclesiastical purpose.
  • You do not receive anything in return for your donation 
  • The recipient of the donation is recognized by the tax office as a non-profit organization.
  • The donation is made for voluntary and altruistic reasons

In addition to that, you need a donation receipt – and for donations that exceed 200 euros, you must also be able to show an officially recognized donation receipt. 

➡️ 5 common mistakes when submitting your tax return 

5. Costs for apps

Finally, you can also deduct costs for helpful apps such as Accountable from your taxes – as long as they are relevant to doing your job. 

That’s the case with both the pro versions of Accountable, so you can easily claim the full cost of our app on your tax return.

➡️ The best apps for freelancers

Can I deduct it?

Do you want to deduct an expense that wasn’t on our list? Then our expense calculator can definitely help you out! With our free online tool, you can simply search for a specific expense and find out immediately if you can deduct it from your taxes.

➡️ Click here for our expense calculator

All your taxes. Done.

Just add your invoices. Accountable generates all of your tax returns without mistakes..
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Tino Keller, Managing Director & Founder of Accountable Germany
Tino Keller, Managing Director & Founder of Accountable Germany

Tino already built two companies and therefore knows the challenges freelancers face first hand. With Accountable he wants to solve all those challenges related to taxes.
When not working, Tino enjoys a nice Asado with a glass of Malbec as well as celebrating one of the occasional wins of favourite soccer team 1. FC Köln.

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