Claim Remittance money sent to Parents from Germany in Tax Return

As an Expat living in Germany, you can Claim Remittance money sent to Parents from Germany to your home country in your Tax Return. Yes, this is a tax-deductible expense. But the act of simply sending money to Someone isn’t enough for the Tax office (Finanzamt) to consider your expense.

You need to provide sufficient proof of your claims. Just follow the steps I have mentioned in this guide to Claim Remittance Money Sent to Parents from Germany in a Tax Return!

How to claim money sent to Family from Germany

If a taxpayer has higher expenses than most other taxpayers with similar income and assets as well as the same marital status. In that case there are extraordinary burdens on this taxpayer. Expenses that cannot be avoided for legal, factual or moral reasons and are necessary under the circumstances are considered to be inevitable and fall under extraordinary burdens. These expenses obviously may not exceed a reasonable amount.

There are many expenses that fall under außergewöhnliche Belastungen or Extraordinary Burdens for example medical costs, care costs, funeral costs, replacement costs after a disaster, and Maintenance Payments to those in need.

So these maintenance payments become tax-deductible and fall under Unterhaltungeserklaerung (or maintenance declaration)

Who is Eligible to recieve Maintainance Payments?

According to the German Civil Code 1601:

Relatives in a straight line are obliged to provide maintenance for each other.

So based on the Civil Code, a Person living and Earning an Income in Germany can send money to their:

  1. Parents
  2. Grandparents
  3. Spouse
  4. Children
  5. In-laws
Relatives are obliged to support each other according to the German Civil Code
Relatives are obliged to support each other according to the German Civil Code

The Maximum Claimable Amount is identical to the basic tax-free allowance and changes each year.

YearMaximum Deductible Amount
2024€11.604
2023€10.908
2022€9.984
2021€9.744
2020€9.408
The Maximum deductible amount that can be sent to Parents per year

This maximum amount comes from the Incometax act Section 33a paragraph 1 . This is the absolute maximum claimable amount (per supported person). Anything sent more that cannot be claimed under any circumstances for this category. That said this amount is also dependent on certain conditions.

One question that you might have is that Is it possible to claim maintenance payments sent to multiple people? The answer is yes! You can support multiple eligible people and Claim money sent to them from Germany in Tax Return

Requirements to claiming Maintainance Payments?

In order to Claim money sent to Parents from Germany in Tax Return you need to fulfill the following requirements:

1. Age of the supported person

The person being supported needs to be older than 65 years of age if they are your Parent, Grandparent, or In-law. This is especially worth taking note of as in many countries the retirement age is 60 years. However the German tax office only accepts the German retirement age of 65 to 67 years.

In case the supported Parent, Grandparent, or In-law is younger than 65 the only exception the Finanzamt accepts is that if they are extremely handicapped such that they are unable to provide for themselves.

For your own children, they need to be your dependent and do not have their own. There is however an upper age limit. If they are younger than 18 there are no issues with claims beyond that up to the age of 23 if the children are not yet gainfully employed. If they are still at school, university, or undergoing vocational training, the age limit of 25 applies. The aforementioned income limits also apply to children.

2. Income of the Supported Person

The person or persons being supported can only be deserving in the eyes of the German Finances office if They don’t have any significant assets or income. That is, they don’t have enough income to support themselves. If they have enough then it doesn’t matter how much you send back it will not be accepted by the German Tax office.

If their income exceeds 624€ in a year the maximum claimable amount will be reduced from €11.604 if you take the year 2024. The lesser the recipients’ income the better the chances of the tax office accepting your claims.

3. Country of residence of the Supported Person

Depending on the recipient’s country the claimable amount also varies. According to German regulations, the residence of the supported persons is divided into 4 groups. And based on which country group the supported person lives in you can claim the maximum claimable amount (mentioned in the table above), half, three-fourths, or a quarter.

Maximum Claim depends on where the dependant lives
Maximum Claim depends on where the dependant lives

Maximum ClaimableThree Fourth AmountHalf AmountQuarter Amount
United StatesAntigua and BermudaAlbaniaPakistan
United KingdomBahrainBrazilIndia
UAEChileChinaBangladesh
TaiwanCroatiaCosta RicaAfghanistan
Singapore LithuaniaDominican RepublicBolivia
AustraliaMaltaEcuadorBhutan
NewzealandPanamaGuyanaJordan
IrelandPuerto RicoIraqKenya
JapanSaudi ArabiaIranMorroco
FranceHungaryLibyaNigeria
HongkongUruguayMexicoSrilanka
CanadaCyprusTurkeyVietnam
Country or place of residence of the taxpayer or the person maintained

You can download the complete list from here

Claim money sent to Parents ( Maximum Amount)

You can stack the burden to increase the Maximum claimable amount as one can support multiple people who do not have their own income. You cannot, however, claim all of the amounts which are sent, only a portion of it. As the amount that can be claimed also depends on your own income.  Simply put if your income is up to 15,000€ a year,  you can deduct what you pay to your parents, but only for the amount that EXCEEDS 4% of your income making 600€ if you earn 15,000€ per year.

In other words, if your income is 15,000€ per year and pay your parents 1,000€, you can deduct 400€ from your taxes i.e. the amount that exceeds the 4% limit. If your income range is between 15 and 50 thousand Euros, where you can deduct what you pay which is over 5% of your income, and then 6% for above 50 thousand Euros.

Total amount
of income
up to €15,340over €15,340
to €51,130
over €51,130
1. for taxpayers without children   
a) Individual Income5%6%7%
b) Joint Income4%5%6%
2. with taxpayers   
a) one child or two children *2%3%4%
b) three or more children *
* (Children for whom you are entitled to
a child allowance or child benefit)
1 %1 %2%
Burden amount as a percentage of total income

Required Documents

So now you know who can claim this benefit and what is the claimable amount in various countries and conditions. Next, we need certain documents to help us prove our claims.

To prove the person being assisted actually deserves this help we need to get a Maintainance declaration form to be filled out and notarized. This Maintenance declaration contains important information like personal details of the supported person, their economic situation, assets, and other important information.

Documents Required to make a claim
Documents Required to make a claim

You can get this here or by going to this link then

Click Formular A-Z Go to the section U Click the Unterhaltserklärung zweisprachig Document.

To make your case even stronger in order to Claim money sent to Parents from Germany in Tax Return you can also provide any other document that can prove that the maintained person is in fact needy.

You can Strengthen your case by submitting a Tax Declaration of the person being supported

Claim Cash Support for Parents overseas from Germany

The recipient of support should be the person being maintained. Additionally the money shouldn’t be sent to your own account which the maintained person has access to.

Remember if you are supporting multiple people you need to send this amount separately.

But lets say that the person being supported does not have a bank account and you already sent the money. Then you should write a document stating the facts.

For example, the money was sent to your bank account but cash was given to the correct person. Get the sign of the person being supported on this document and get this document notarized by an authority like a notar or the bank manager where the money was sent.

A similar document can also be made If you decide give cash in hand to the person being supported.

Tips for sending Money to Parents Overseas from Germany

Here are a few tips that Might be useful to Claim money sent to Parents from Germany in Tax Returns:

  1. Trackable Transfer: You can send the mainteinance amount through any trackable method like a bank transfer, or a money transfer service like Wise as long as its trackable. Additionally, the recipient should be the person being maintained and the money shouldn’t be sent to your own account to which the maintained person has access. Remember if you are supporting multiple people you need to send this amount separately.
  2. Cash Payments: If you decide to give cash in hand, then you need to make a receipt or a small document that you gave the money in cash and get it signed bythe person being supported.
  3. Sending time: An important thing many people ignore is the time of sending the money for support. Let me explain. The maximum amount of €11.604 is meant for the whole year or 967€/month so if you send this whole amount in January as a single payment thats ok . If you send this amount in July or December you cannot claim support for the whole year, you can only claim a certain number of months depending on the sending date. The best way you can claim the maximum amount is to make a monthly payment into individual accounts of every single person being supported. This can fortify your claims of actually supporting the needy persons and show concrete argument of a monthly support system from your side.

More on how to Claim money sent to Parents from Germany in Tax Return

If you want to read up more about this topic, you can check out the following pages.

Second Family Relief Act

Maintenance Declaration

Family Maintenance as a foreigner

In addition to maintenance declaration, you can claim many other expenses. You can read my guides on Tax Return for Employees in Germany. Or If you are a student then my guide for Tax Return for Students in Germany.

Yes, it is possible to claim money sent to parents or grandparents in their home country. However there are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled and a form also has to be filled out.

Yes, in addition to Parents, Grandparents and Parent in-laws you can also support your Spouse and children who are not living with you in Germany. You can claim expenses sent to them in your tax declaration in Germany

There is no limit on the amount of money you can send to your parents overseas from Germany. However there is a limit to how much you can claim in a tax return. This amount depends on where your parents are living.

No, you do not have to pay additional taxes on the money you send to your parents from Germany if that money has already been taxed in Germany. That said, your parents may be required to pay taxes on the money you send them depending on the laws where they live.

This article contains Affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you use the link and make an account at no additional cost to you

Disclaimer: None of the content in this article is meant to be considered as investment advice. I am not a financial expert and am only sharing my experience with stock investing. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article. The information may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.

18 Comments

  1. Hi Ahsan, thanks for the article.
    But one question.
    If my total salary is 80k euro per year. So my max claimable amount is = total amount given to parents -6%of 80k i.e. 4800 eur per year.
    And acc to the other section max claimable amount is 2500 euro per person. Does this mean i can only claim 100 euro per person in my case even if i send 5000 ?

      • I think what he/she is saying is that you can only claim money send above a certain limit which varies with one`s pay (in your example 15000 Eur). This person`s salary is 80, 6% of which is 4800 which means the claimed amount will be the difference between the actual amount sent and 4800. Taking example of Pakistan where you can only claim 2500 Euros approx per person, this means if this person sends 2500 Euros each to 2 people in Pakistan, he has sent a total of 5000. As a result he will be able to claim just 200 Euros according to your explanation.

        • Yes, this is the jist of it. But I have updated the article to include some additional parameters like Married, Unmarried, with children so that the calculations could be done on those factors too

  2. Dear Ahsan,

    Thank you very much for your efforts.
    Can you please help to how to Prepare parents support forms attested from Union Council + Notary Public.

    Regards
    Oweas

  3. Hi Ahsan,
    Thank you for a great article.
    Can you please answer if I understand correctly this example:
    – gross income 80k
    – max claimable amount, country from 2nd group: 7.5k
    – non-claimable amount: 0.06*80 = 4.8k
    – final deductible amount: 7.5-4.8 = 2.7k

    In case of supporting second recipient, from another household – does 6% non-claimable amount apply also for him? Or it’s a one-time 6% for sum of all supported persons?
    In other words: 7.5+7.5-4.8 or 7.5-4.8+7.5-4.8 ?

  4. Thank you for the detailed post.

    My home country is in category three meaning that the maximum claimable amount for 2022 is 4,974€/yearly.

    What I did not understand well was the part relared to my income (5% or 6%). I gain 72k yearly gross and 57k net. Does this influence to the amount I can claim or get back?

    Thank you.

  5. To Esi,
    Can you explain how to get 57k net on 72k gross income. I have tax class 3 and a 4 years old child. With same salary I get roughly 49k net.

    Maybe Ahsan you can help which tax class or what measures increases net salary

  6. Dear Ahsan,

    I appreciate you for the effort you put in searching, collecting, summarizing and posting all the useful information to the single online platform.

    Kind regards,
    Ali Raza

  7. Hi Ahsan,

    I was wondering if you could recommend an App for the Tax Refund, in which I can also include my remittances to my spouse and mother back home. Thank you in advance. 🙂

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