This is what you can deduct from your tax as a part-time self-employed professional
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There are many different types of self-employment. For example, you can start as a freelancer alongside your regular job. This is a good way to test with relatively low risks wether working as a self-employed professional works for you. At the same time, you can start deducting expenses related to your self-employment. In this article we’ll show you how this works and what exactly you can claim as a tax deduction.
Who counts as part-time self-employed?
You are part-time self-employed, when you are an employee who gets a regular salary but you also earn money from a self-employed business. In order to deduct this income, you need a tax number. You’ll get it after you officially registered as self-employed person with your local Finanzamt (finance office).
Simply fill in the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung. This form doesn’t differentiate between full-time or part-time self-employed work, but you don’t need to worry about that.
How much tax do I have to pay as a part-time self-employed person?
The profit you make from the part-time job is added to your salary from your main job. In this case, the profit is what you get after you deduct your business expenses from your revenues. This final amount needs to be added to your yearly income tax return. It belongs in the ‘Anlage S’ if you are a Freiberufler (freelancer) or in ‘Anlage G’ if you are a Gewerbetreibender (trade person).
One way to simply determine your profit is the Einnahmenüberschussrechnung, short EÜR (P&L statement). With this method you can subtract your business expenses from your revenue and calculate your profit.
You can also use the Einkommensteuerrechner des Bundesministeriums für Finanzen. It’s a calculator that shows you how much you finally have to pay in taxes. Fill in your regular income as well as the profit you make as a self-employed person and it will show you how much you have to pay in total for the year.
But what about VAT? We’ll tell you right here:
Part-time self-employed: This is what you can deduct from your taxes
Even if you’re only part-time self-employed, you can already deduct quite a bit from your taxes. But it always has to be necessary and related to your work, of course. It’s also very important to keep the receipts of your purchases, in case, the Finanzamt demands proof of it.
💡 Tip from Accountable: It’s very easy to loose receipts and invoices. That’s why we integrated a photo scanner in our app. Simply take a picture of your receipts and save them all in Accountable. This way you always have a complete overview and access to your documents.
These are expenses you can deduct
There is quite a number of different costs that you can deduct as a self-employed person. Here, we collected the most common ones:
Many freelancers work from home. If you have an extra home office, you can deduct its proportion for rent, electricity and water costs. However, you will not spend all your work hours in this room but at your regular job. That’s why you can’t deduct more than 1.250€ per year for your home office.
Another rule is, that your home office needs to be a separate room in your home. So, a desk in your bedroom doesn’t count as an official home office.
If you pay for a place in a co-working-space or even rent an office space, you can also deduct these costs from you taxes.
Costs for work equipment
It may be a laptop, a headset or simply printer paper and stamps – as long as you use it for work 90% of the time, you can deduct it from your taxes.
When it comes to costs for your phone, it already gets more complicated. Because here as well, you need to proof that it’s mainly used for work. Therefore, it can be useful to buy a phone that’s exclusively used for your part-time self-employed work. In this case, it’s also possible to deduct the expenses for mobile internet and for calls you make with this phone.
In case you need to travel around a lot for your part-time self-employed job, you can also deduct these costs. Either make use of the mileage allowance, which is 0,30€ per kilometer you drive. Or alternatively you could keep every receipt and ticket and deduct each amount.
Costs for business dinners
You can deduct so called ‘Bewirtungskosten’ if you have expenses from a business lunch or dinner. This could be the case, when you meet a new client in order to talk with him about a potential partnership, for example.
However, if you want to deduct these Bewirtungskosten, you need a special receipt, called ‘Bewirtungsbeleg’. This form needs to state the address where the meeting took place, the reason for the meeting and everyone who was present. When paying at the restaurant you can ask for such a Bewirtungsbeleg and you’ll get the form where you can simply fill in the required details.
Costs for Fortbildungen (further education)
Finally, you can also deduct expenses for seminars or courses you register for. As always, they only need to be related to your work as a part-time self-employed professional.
Even when you are part-time self-employed, you can already deduct many costs from your taxes. If you are not sure, wether you can deduct a certain expense, our tax calculator will help you. Simply type in the business expense you are looking for and see how much you can deduct.