All about the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung
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If you want to go freelance, you can’t avoid the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung (tax registration questionnaire). With the form you officially register your self-employment. However, not every question asked in the form might be easy to answer.
That’s why we want to help with a proper explanation and some tricks for filling out the form. Read here, when the form is relevant for you and how exactly to fill out the pages of the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung.
Table of Content
- What is the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
- Who needs to fill out the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
- When do I have to fill out the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
- Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung: Step-by-step Guide
- Where do I find the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
- What are the new changes in 2022?
What is the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
If you want to become self-employed, you must notify the Finanzamt (tax office). This is what the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung (tax registration questionnaire) is for. In the document you provide information on the type of business you want to start, including your expected earnings – and after verification by the Finanzamt you will receive a new Steuernummer (tax number).
You have to apply for a new Steuernummer so that the Finanzamt can assign your Einkommensteuererklärung (income tax return) correctly at the end of the year.
Who needs to fill out the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
You must fill out the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung every time you want to start a new self-employed business in Germany. You also have to distinguish between working as a freelancer (Freiberufler) and a tradesperson (Gewerbe).
While you only have to fill out the registration form to apply for a tax number as a freelancer, traders also have to register with the Gewerbeamt (trade office) in order to receive a Gewerbeschein (trade license).
When do I have to fill out the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung?
In fact, you don’t have to wait for your new Steuernummer to start your self-employed work. However, keep in mind that you can only issue official invoices once you have received said number.
Depending on your Finanzamt and the city, the time you will have to wait after submitting the questionnaire is between two and four weeks. You should consider this before you start your own business and becoming a freelancer.
It is therefore best to contact your Finanzamt first and send them the Fragebogen before you take your first contracts by clients. This way you don’t get into the situation where you’ve done your work but can’t issue any invoices yet.
Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung: Step-by-Step Guide
Do you need help filling out the Fragebogen? We got you covered! This is your step-by-step guide on how to fill out the form correctly.
The form is divided into the following chapters:
- Personal details
- Business details
- Tax information
- Tax estimate
- Bank account details
In the following we explain what information you have to provide in the individual chapters.
1. Personal Details
The first page is about collecting your personal data – such as your name, address, date of birth and marital status as well as your religious affiliation. You can also enter your e-mail address and telephone number for the Finanzamt here.
2. Business Details
If your business address differs from your private address, you have the option of entering a different business address in the second chapter. However, the most important information on this page is the type of business you wish to register for.
When describing your profession (working as a freelancer or tradesperson), you should be as specific as possible, as this information is used to classify your activity. Also, if possible, this description should be in German.
3. Tax information
Next, you have to enter your Steueridentifikationsnummer (tax ID) and also choose what method you want to use for your profit determination.
Most likely, you’ll be able to use the simple profit & loss statement, also known as Einnahmenüberschussrechnung.
In addition to this, you must provide information on your expected revenue for the year of registration as well as the following year, while also indicating whether or not you wish to make use of the Kleinunternehmerregelung (small business regulation).
4. Tax estimate
As a next step, you need to provide information on how to determine your prepayments. The estimate you give on your potential tax revenue forms the basis for calculating your quarterly advance payments for the income tax and trade tax if you run a Gewerbe.
5. Bank account details
Before submitting your details, you must specify your bank account in the last step. Here you have the option of stating either a business or a private bank account.
Where do I find the form?
Until recently, you could still fill out and submit the registration form at your local Finanzamt. Now however, you can only register your self-employment digitally via ELSTER – thus, sending it electronically to the Finanzamt responsible for you.
The good news – Accountable has a direct interface to ELSTER. This means, you can use the free, secure and official Accountable form!
It is way more easy and understandable than the form on the ELSTER website. And it’s available in English!
What are the new changes in 2022?
The Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung is revised regularly, which is why you have to answer a new question as of 2022: It is about the Umsatzsteuer (VAT) and whether you – as a self-employed person – will be subject to VAT with your business.
This, however, is very hard to predict at the time of registration, which makes it difficult to fill out this question.