This is the Best Tax Return Software In Germany

In Germany, the tax system can be complex and overwhelming, which is why many people turn to tax return software to simplify the process. Using tax return software can save you time and money, and help you avoid making costly mistakes. In this guide, I’ll introduce you to the best tax return software in Germany and provide tips on how to use it effectively.

Which Is The Best Tax Return Software In Germany?

When it comes to tax return software in Germany, there are several options available, each with its own features and pricing. Here is my pick of the best tax return software options in Germany.

DescriptionParticularly extensive and user-friendly. 
Suitable for employees and the self-employed.
Clear and low-threshold chat process, but very limited functionality.Suitable for employees and the self-employedRich features, but significantly less user-friendly. 
Suitable for all target groups. 
Offered in multiple languages.
Extensive but complex control software. 
Own Elster certificate required.
Price39.99€ €39.99 (€59.99 for joint submission)€34.99 (€59.99 for joint submission)€34.95€33.95
No of Tax Returns per year51111
Supported PlatformsWebWeb, Android, IOSWeb, Android, IOSWeb, Android, IOSDesktop
Clear interview process
Electronic document retrieval (VaSt)
Data transfer from the previous year
Tax assessment is checked
Supports investment income
Supports crypto
Suitable for the self-employed
Try without registration / purchase
search function
No own certificate required
Get OfferSmartSteuerTaxfixWundertaxSteuerGoSteuertipps
Best Tax Return Software in Germany Feature Comparison

Features of Best Tax Return Software in Germany

Electronic document retrieval (VaSt): With the pre-filled tax return (VaSt), the tax program requests your data from the tax office and enters it in your tax return.

Data transfer from the previous year: All data from the previous year are already entered. All you have to do is update the old tax return.

Tax assessment is checked: When you have received your tax assessment, the tax software compares it with your entries. You can see immediately which entries have been accepted by the tax office and which have not.

Search Function: In the tax jungle, it quickly happens that you have to search for a specific field. Hence a useful feature.

No own certificate required: If you need your own Elster certificate, you have to apply for it first. This can take a few days.

How to File a Tax Return in Germany?

To file a tax return in Germany, you have a couple of options you can choose from

  1. Use ELSTER
  2. Use a Tax Return Software
  3. Become a member of a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein
  4. Use a tax consultant 

Each of these options has its pros and cons.

Related Guide: How to Submit a Tax Return in Germany

Using Elster to Submit a Tax Return in Germany

The basis of every tax return in Germany is Elster. Elster is a tax administration program from the German tax authorities that enables tax returns to be submitted electronically. 

Anyone can create an account there and submit their own tax return free of charge. Elster can also be used to access data that is already known to the tax office. For example, the electronic wage tax certificate is sent by the employer to the responsible tax office and this can in turn be accessed via Elster. This way the tax return is easily filled out with the data from your employer. In the recent times an increasing number of Employers report tax-relevant data electronically to the tax authorities.

The biggest disadvantage of Elster is that it is only available in German language. This is where Tax Return softwares play a big role in Filing tax return in Germany

Using a Tax Return Software in Germany

All tax return softwares in Germany use a very similar process and do nothing else in the background than Elster. They fill out the tax return for you and submit it electronically. 

Most Tax Softwares or Web apps are also capable of electronic data retrieval from the tax office, just like Elster. So what makes these tax softwares different than Elster? Well, Elster is issued by the tax authorities and is simply used for the purpose of transmitting data to the tax office. A tax return software, on the other hand, is usually much more user-friendly. Many tax softwares such as Smartsteuer even encourage you to save on taxes by asking you numerous questions and trying to accurately reflect your life situation.

A huge difference and advantage of these tax return softwares is that they are natively available in English language! This can be a make or brake decision for most Expats in Germany.

Let me share details of my pick of the best tax return software options in Germany


Website Screenshot: SmartSteuer
Website Screenshot: SmartSteuer

Smartsteuer is a top-rated tax return software in Germany that offers a wide range of features and clear guidance through the tax return process. It provides simple explanations if you don’t understand a particular question and allows you to view your tax assessment notice online.

In case you need to file an objection, Smartsteuer provides guidelines and templates. One of the best features of Smartsteuer is that you can file up to five tax returns per year for a single fee of €34.99, which includes the ability to complete tax returns for other family members. This offer is specially great if you are a student. You can ask 4 other friends to join in on the costs so filing a tax return as a student in Germany would essentially cost just €7.

Smartsteuer is available in 58 languages via integrated Google translations, making it possible to file your taxes in your native language. The software also includes a free tax calculator, and you can transfer your data to a free user account and pay for submitting your files in less than an hour if you choose to use Smartsteuer to file your tax return. Overall, Smartsteuer offers a user-friendly and cost-effective solution for completing and submitting tax returns.

The most important functions of Smartsteuer:

✅ Browser-based
🔵 Easy to use, clear interview process
✅ Electronic document retrieval possible (pre-filled tax return)
🔵 Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Suitable for the self-employed
🔵 Tax assessment from the tax office can be checked with Smartsteuer
✅ Can be tested without obligation and without registration
🔵 Search function makes it easier to navigate through the tax return


Website Screenshot: TaxFix
Website Screenshot: TaxFix

Taxfix is one of Germany’s most popular tax apps and is available in English, French, and Italian for employees. Taxfix charges a fee of €39,99 for one person or €59,99 for married couples.

With Taxfix, there are two ways to file your tax return: complete the simple question-and-answer process via app or browser, or have your tax done by an independent tax advisor using Expert Service.

If you do your tax yourself, you can get a free calculation of your estimated refund before you submit to your local tax office via the official ELSTER interface.

After registering on the app or via browser, you will answer an average of 70 questions that are specifically tailored to your tax case. After that, you will immediately receive a free refund calculation that estimates what you can expect to get back. If you choose to submit your taxes at that point, we will send your tax return paperlessly to your local tax office. After processing by the tax office, your potential refund will be paid into your account and you will receive your tax assessment.

The most important functions of Taxfix:

✅ Free tax calculation
🔵 Intuitive app with photo option to upload your documents
✅ Easy data entry interchangeable between phone and desktop
🔵 Customized interview questions to save time
✅ Automatic data check
🔵 Secure data transfer
✅ Suitable for individuals


Website Screenshot: Wundertax
Website Screenshot: Wundertax

Wundertax is a German tax software company that provides an online platform for individuals to file their tax returns. It is among one of the most popular Tax Return Softwares in Germany with the expat community. Originally they were focused on the student community but later on added features for employees and freelancers as well.

It offers a user-friendly interface that guides users through the tax filing process with step-by-step instructions and customized questions. Wundertax also offers a free tax calculator that allows users to estimate their tax refund. The software is available in German and English and supports a range of tax situations, including employment income, self-employment, pensions, and investments. Up till 2022 joint tax decleration was done for the same price as an individual but they have increased their prices this year. Similar to tax fix, a fee of €39,99 for one person or €59,99 for married couples is charged.

Users can file their tax returns directly through the Wundertax platform, and the software automatically checks for errors and inconsistencies before submitting the return to the tax office. Wundertax charges a fee for its services, which varies depending on the complexity of the tax situation. The company also offers customer support via phone, email, and chat. Overall, Wundertax provides a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals looking to file their taxes in Germany.

The most important functions of Wundertax:

✅ Simple, quick, and secure online
🔵 Pay only when your tax return is submitted
✅ Integrated checks for optimization
🔵 No assessment of earlier information is required
✅ Free customer service and an interface in English
🔵 Tips for English taxes
✅ Suitable for individuals and Self-Employed


Website Screenshot: Steuergo
Website Screenshot: Steuergo

SteuerGo is the easy way to file your annual tax return online. Whether income tax, capital gains or childcare costs, SteuerGo is here for you. SteuerGo helps to secure overpaid income taxes.

The software features are intuitive and easy to use, and the English customer service is available to answer any questions. SteuerGo is also available in Russian and four other Eastern European languages. SteuerGo Plus costs 34,95 euros per tax return, and you only need to pay when you submit your tax return.

This German Tax Return Software offers a brief questionnaire that is easy to complete and provides free, individualized tax advice based on your data to maximize your refund. The estimated amount of your refund is displayed after you complete the questionnaire, and you can decide whether to pay the one-time fee and file your tax return. Overall, SteuerGo offers a simple and cost-effective solution for submitting your annual tax return online.

The most important functions of Steuergo:

✅ Mobile, on the web, as an app
🔵 Free calculation of refund
✅ Easy data entry
🔵 Data transfer from the previous year
✅ Customer Support in English
🔵 Electronic tax assessment notice
✅ Assistance with appeals


Website Screenshot: Steuertipps
Website Screenshot: Steuertipps

Steuertipps is a German tax advice website that provides a wide range of tax-related information and services. The website offers articles, guides, and videos covering various tax-related topics, including income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, and value-added tax.

Steuertipps offers a paid service called “Steuertipps Premium,” which provides personalized tax advice from tax experts, access to exclusive articles and guides, and a tax hotline for phone consultations. The website also offers a tax software called “Steuersoftware” .

This software from Steuertipps is an actual software and not a webapp. This means that you would actually need to install it on your computer. This Tax Return sofware is available in different varients, for example for Employees, Self-Employed, Teachers and Pensioners. The cost of the Software starts from €29.99 and any subsequent tax submissions cost an additional €6. This software might not be for everyone but if you are self employed then you can definitely benefit from its extensive options. Unfortunately this software is only available in German language.

The most important functions of Steuertipps:

✅ Automatically finds tax breaks and suggests optimization options
🔵 Shows immediately and to the cent exactly how entries affect your tax refund
✅ Draws your attention to missing or implausible information: you cannot do anything wrong
🔵 Sends your tax return electronically via ELSTER or prints out the forms from the tax office with your details

Tips for using tax return software in Germany

To use tax return software effectively, it’s important to be organized and accurate. Here are some tips for using tax return software effectively:

  1. Organize your documents
    Before you get started with tax return software, make sure you have all the necessary documents organized and ready to go. This includes things like your income statements, receipts for expenses, and any other relevant financial documents.
  2. Input your data accurately
    When using tax return software, it’s important to input your data accurately to ensure that your return is correct. Double-check all of your entries before submitting your return to avoid making costly mistakes.
  3. Take advantage of available deductions
    Tax return software can help you identify deductions that you may have missed on your own. Be sure to take advantage of all available deductions to minimize your tax liability.
  4. Double-check your return before submitting
    Before you hit the submit button, double-check your return to make sure that everything is correct and that you haven’t missed anything important. This will help you avoid having to file an amended return later on.


Almost every taxpayer gets money back from the tax office if the right things are stated in the tax return. But the question comes to what is the best tax return software in Germany. The answer is pretty simple, if you are an employee and with no complicated expenses then taxfix would be a great option. But in my opinion Smartsteuer is probably the best tax return software in Germany. It is quite versatile and can cover almost all the topics that would concern an expat in Germany. You can read my guide on Taxes in Germany if you want to know more about what can be claimed in a Tax Return in Germany. I have specific guides on how to file a tax return as a student in Germany. Or if you are an employee you can read my guide on Tax Return for Employees in Germany.

*Affiliate link, 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 tax advice, as I am not a tax expert and am only sharing my experience with taxes. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article but may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.

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