Tax payers in Germany must file the respective annual (e.g. income) tax returns for the previous tax year (calendar year 2019) not later than 31 July 2020 unless (!) a German tax law professional is instructed to file that return on behalf of the tax payer – in that case the deadline is extended from seven to 14 months (i.e. ending on 28 February 2021).

Obviously, the German legislator believes that it is time-consuming to involve an external tax expert and therefore grants twice as much time (14 instead of 7 months) when involving such certifed tax professional. Good news for our professions..

With a proper justification being provided, it is possible to apply for a deadline extension. But the underlying statutory rules have become stricter and tax offices are quick now to assess a penalty for late payment (Verpätungszuschlag) based on Sec. 152 German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung).