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What is the best tax software for freelancers in Germany?

Written by Sophia Merzbach, creative writer and content producer
Updated on
Read in 8 minutes

You are starting your own business and are looking for a tax software that allows you to handle your accounting and tax obligations without a tax advisor? Here you can find the best alternatives in comparison!

There is now a whole range of alternatives on the market that offer tax software and apps. They differ greatly in terms of functionality, complexity and price. Find out which is the best tax solution for your individual situation in our comparison.

What tax software is there for self-employed professionals?

Accountable

Accountable is the perfect tax solution for anyone just starting as a self-employed person and for freelancers who want to do their taxes without a lot of stress, complicated software or tax advisors.

What makes the solution unique is the possibility to prepare all accounting and tax obligations as a self-employed professional in English, directly in one solution. They can also be sent directly to the Finanzamt (tax office).

Also particular is the focus on personal customer support in English. You get more than just a software, the team helps you with answers to all tax questions and supports you, should you have problems with the Finanzamt.

What are the main features of Accountable?

  • create all the tax returns you have to submit as a self-employed person
  • VAT return, income tax, yearly VAT return, profit & loss statement, trade tax
  • Write invoices and send them directly to your clients
  • Manage receipts and save taxes by deducting them
  • English version
  • Book additional tax advisor services or invite your tax advisor

What tax returns does Accountable offer?

Accountable offers you the complete package for your taxes. All tax obligations for self-employed people are covered. You can create your tax returns via app and desktop version and submit them directly to the Finanzamt:

Does Accountable have an App?

Yes! Accountable is one of the few app-first tax solutions. So not only do you get the web version on your desktop, but you also have a complete, sophisticated app with well-produced features.

This way, you can take care of all accounting tasks, such as scanning receipts, directly on-the-go. You can also submit your regular VAT return directly from your smartphone. Doing taxes doesn’t get any more convenient than this!

What does Accountable cost?

Accountable offers three different versions:

  • Free: A forever free version with limited use
  • SMALL: 15,50€ per month. Especially created for Kleinunternehmer (small business)
  • PRO: 22,50€ per month. Unlimited access to all features. In PRO you create all tax returns.

Does Accountable have a free trial?

Yes, you can test Accountable for free for 14 days. You don’t have to provide your credit card details. After that, you can simply use the free version or upgrade to stay in PRO.

Why you should use Accountable:

Especially if you’re just starting your own business or don’t have extensive tax knowledge yet, Accountable is perfect for you! The app and web version offer you exactly the features you need to do all your tax returns and related bookkeeping stress-free. Also, you have a team that is available to help. So you don’t have to worry about tax obligations and hassles with the Finanzamt.

➡️ Test it now!


SevDesk

SevDesk is a bookkeeping software for the self-employed people. It offers the necessary features to keep your bookkeeping under control. However, the tool is especially practical for self-employed people in e-commerce, since it offers a direct connection to the most common store systems.

What are the main features of SevDesk?

  • Write and send invoices
  • Manage receipts
  • VAT return
  • E-Commerce integration

What tax returns does SevDesk offer?

In addition to a whole range of accounting features, you can SevDesk to take care of these tax obligations:

  • VAT return
  • Profit & loss statement (EÜR)
  • Income statement (Profit and loss statement if you have to do double bookkeeping)

Does SevDesk have an App?

Yes. With the app, you can scan receipts and write invoices, allowing you to do some of your bookkeeping on-the-go at any time.

What does SevDesk cost?

SevDesk offers three pricing models:

Write invoices: from 8,90€ per month
Do your bookkeeping: from 17,90€ per month
Complete features: from 42,90€ per month
In addition, you can book some features as optional extensions, if you need them.

Does SevDesk have a free trial?

You can test SevDesk for free for 14 days. You don’t have to provide any credit card details.

When should you use SevDesk:

SevDesk is suitable for you if you have an online business and want a direct connection to your store. Also, if you are looking for a particularly comprehensive tool for your digital bookkeeping, you can use SevDesk.

However, if you want to take care of your tax obligations as well as your bookkeeping, you would need additional software or a tax advisor.


Sorted

Sorted offers you a digital tool to prepare your tax returns and send them to the Finanzamt.

What are the main features of Sorted?

  • Write and send invoices
  • Tax returns
  • Book additional tax consultant services

What tax returns does Sorted offer?

With Sorted you can prepare the most important tax returns for freelancers:

  • regular VAT return
  • Income tax return
  • Profit & loss statement (EÜR)

Does Sorted have an App?

No. Sorted currently only offers an online version that you can use from your desktop.

What does Sorted cost?

With Sorted, you can choose from three different plans:

  • Free: Invoice
  • Kleinunternehmer (small business): 98€ per year. Complete all tax returns as a Kleinunternehmer
  • Complete features: 20€ per month. With it, you can do your VAT return in addition

Does Sorted offer a free trial?

You can always use the free version of Sorted, but you’ll have to pay to upgrade if you want to prepare a tax return.

When should you use Sorted?

If you’re looking for simple software to handle the basics of your tax obligations as self-employed professional, you can use Sorted.


LexOffice

The bookkeeping software by LexOffice offers all the features that entrepreneurs need: Writing invoices, managing clients and suppliers and handling their accounting together with a tax advisor.

What are the main features of LexOffice?

  • Write invoices, offers and reminders
  • Manage receipts and customers
  • VAT return
  • book additional offers from partners

What tax returns does LexOffice offer?

You can prepare and submit a few of the most important tax obligations with LexOffice:

  • regular VAT return
  • profit & loss statement (EÜR and Gewinn- und Verlustrechnung)

Does LexOffice have an app?

Yes. The app can mostly be used to scan receipts and to write invoices directly from your phone.

What does LexOffice cost?

LexOffice offers a range of four different packages, with prices varying depending on the number of your employees and the range of features. You can use the program if you have up to 50 employees.

Prices start at 6,90€ for the S package and end at 179,90€ per month for the XL package. However, the tax returns are only included in the L  and XL version.

Figuring out which price package you actually need can be a bit complicated given the large number of features. However, there is no minimum subscription time and you can cancel monthly. So it’s easy to try the different packages.

Does LexOffice have a free trial?

You can try LexOffice for free for 30 days, but if you do, you won’t get the promotional discount that you only get if you buy one of the paid packages directly.

Why you should use LexOffice

LexOffice is especially suitable for advanced self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs with several employees. If you don’t know much about taxes and accounting, the many dashboards and features that you might not need can quickly become overwhelming.


ELSTER

ELSTER is the free nationwide platform to electronically submit tax returns to the Finanzamt (tax office). Creating a ‘My Elster’ account is free of charge and makes it possible to submit tax returns paperless and without additional software.

What are the main features of ELSTER?

With ELSTER, all forms that previously had to be sent to the Finanzamt in paper form, can now be filled out online and digitally:

  • Applications, objections and notifications
  • Tax returns for self-employed persons
  • Tax returns for employees and special cases

What tax returns does ELSTER offer?

With ELSTER, you can submit all required tax returns and forms for self-employed professionals and employees:

  • Income tax return
  • Profit determination (e.g. profit & loss statement)
  • Gewerbesteuer (trade tax)
  • VAT return

Does ELSTER have an app?

The Elster Smart App is mainly used for authentication, to access your own My ELSTER account at any time. It doesn’t include any bookkeeping or tax features.

What does ELSTER cost?

ELSTER is a project of the states and the federal government of Germany, so its use is completely free of charge.

Does ELSTER offer a free trial?

There is no trial version, as the creation of an account is completely free.

Why you should use ELSTER

Especially for self-employed people without prior knowledge or ‘beginners’, ELSTER can quickly seem confusing and complicated. The handling of the certification file alone is unfamiliar to many. In addition, ELSTER cannot do the bookkeeping for you.

If you are looking for a way to file your tax returns completely on your own and free of charge, you can use ELSTER for that. But it can’t hurt to have the basic tax knowledge to use ELSTER without frustration.


SteuerSparErklärung for freelancers

The tax software is available as a download and allows you to prepare your tax return in a question-and-answer style. It doesn’t offermore bookkeeping features.

What are the main features of SteuerSparErklärung?

The program is mainly specialized in the preparation of income tax returns. In addition, you get tax tips and information about the latest changes in the law.

  • Income tax
  • Manage receipts

What tax returns does SteuerSparErklärung offer?

  • The current income tax return

Does SteuerSparErklärung have an app?

No, the program is only available as a download.

What does SteuerSparErklärung cost?

You can choose between these options:

  • Subscription: 84,95€ per year
  • One time payment: 94,95€

Does SteuerSparErklärung have a free trial?

Yes, there is a trial version available for download. If you want to use the full version, you have to buy an unlock code.

Why you should use SteuerSparErklärung

If you only want to file your income tax return as a self-employed person, you can use the program. However, for accounting and regular tax reporting, you will need another tool. In addition, you have to buy the program as a download and cannot log in directly via the browser.


WISO

WISO is the digital tax return from Buhl. The program is not only for the self-employed, but can also be used by employees for the tax return. The advantage is that WISO can retrieve your insurance data, etc. directly from the Finanzamt and fill it in for you.

What are the main features of WISO?

  • direct access to your tax data from the Finanzamt
  • Manage receipts
  • All tax returns

What tax returns does WISO offer?

  • income tax return
  • VAT return
  • Gewerbesteuer (trade tax)

Does WISO have an app?

Yes, you can also use the app to prepare your tax return for the Finanzamt. The download of the tax app is free. If you want to submit your tax return, it costs €29.99 per tax year.

What does WISO cost?

WISO offers three different versions:

  • Free: Test everything and only pay when you file your tax return.
  • WISO Tax: 35,99€. File up to 5 tax returns
  • ProfiCheck: from 134,99€. A tax expert checks your data before you submit it.

Does WISO offer a free trial?

Yes, you can create an account for free and use the tax retrieval from the Finanzamt. If you want to submit your tax return, you have to buy the paid version.

Why you should use WISO

The tax program is especially useful if you have other tax obligations in addition to your work as a self-employed person or employee, for example, if you have to pay property tax. Then, WISO is the solution that covers the most obligations.

Which tax software is the best for me?

Nowadays, there are a number of various tax programs, software and apps that can help to make your life with accounting and taxes as a self-employed person easier.

But which solution you choose in the end depends on your individual situation.

If you have a larger company with employees, LexOffice, for example, can cover what you need for accounting.

If you are just starting your self-employment and want to have all tax obligations for self-employed covered in one solution, then use Accountable.

Since most tax programs have a free trial period, you can easily look at different software solutions and then choose the one you like best.

All your taxes. Done.

Just add your invoices. Accountable generates all of your tax returns without mistakes..
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Sophia Merzbach, creative writer and content producer
Sophia Merzbach, creative writer and content producer

Sophia loves literature and writing. She's happy to have joined the Accountable team and is becoming a pro on all things tax related.
In her free time you will find her in a boulder gym, studying Italian or discovering the streets of her new hometown Berlin.

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