Company pension plan: tax tips for employees and employers

Positive impact on tax returns for the self-employed and businesses




The Corona pandemic hardly leaves anyone unscathed. The effects are particularly noticeable in the financial area. Provided you know and claim them, tax breaks can counter economic hardship. Employers can pay their employees a bonus of 1500 euros free of tax and social security contributions.

However, the prerequisite for this is that this premium is paid in addition to the salary that is owed anyway and is recorded in the employee's payroll account. Employees have the option of submitting deferral requests to the tax authorities. However, since tax offices take several weeks to process, SEPA direct debit mandates should be revoked. This is how you can prevent taxes from being debited in the meantime. People who use a company car and it is taxed under the 1 percent rule can save valuable euros. As soon as the company vehicle is temporarily not needed due to a business interruption, it should be left standing and, at best, the speedometer reading should be photographed. Provided that one demonstrably leaves one's company car during the Corona crisis, one does not have to pay tax on a non-cash benefit for private use during this time.

Some people take advantage of others' desperation and pose as government employees on the phone. The aim is to tap bank and company data. Such procedures are fraud, because no authority will ask for difficult data on the phone. lps/AM

Positive effect on the tax return for self-employed persons and companies



The term "leasing" comes from the English language and means "to rent". This is also exactly where the major difference from buying a car lies. With a leasing contract, you rent a car for a certain period of time and then return it to the leasing partner. The monthly lease payment is a user fee, not a redemption payment. The amount of the lease payment depends on the make, model, equipment and new price of the vehicle.

Leasing is not particularly attractive for private individuals, because privately used leased vehicles are not tax-deductible. Companies, tradesmen and freelancers, on the other hand, benefit from tax relief on leases. If the vehicle is used for business purposes, the monthly lease payment counts as a business expense. For the tax authorities it is important that one is not the beneficial owner of the car, but the lessee. For this reason, the leasing contract is a very important document for deducting monthly payments. If the vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes, the leasing installments and special payment can be claimed in full. If, on the other hand, the car is also used for private purposes, this is a non-cash benefit that is included in business income.

To determine the private use, you can keep a logbook or use the one-percent rule. In the case of the latter, a flat rate of one percent of the gross list price is taxed. lps/AM



Many people want to do good and support those in need. Warm winter jackets for the homeless, new soccer balls for a youth sports club or necessary books for a library are classic donations in kind. In this country, one is even financially rewarded for donating. Provided that the tax office recognizes the charitable status of the recipient, donations can be claimed against tax. In order to be able to declare donations in kind in the tax return, a so-called donation receipt is required. If it is a new product, the receipt is sufficient. If it is used, the value of the donation in kind must first be determined. This can be determined with comparisons of similar articles. Associations, aid organizations, foundations, political parties and religious communities are always dependent on donations and are grateful for any support. lps/AM

Exceptional burden: tax savings after a stroke of fate alleviates financial consequences



Sooner or later, many people suffer a hard blow when they have to let go of a loved one. To do so duly, a large sum of money is necessary. Funeral expenses are tax deductible if you are required to pay them for legal reasons or pay them voluntarily for moral reasons, even though your estate is insufficient.

The legal obligation affects every heir. For example, if the estate is 8000 Euros and the funeral expenses are 9500 Euros, the additional expenses of 1500 Euros are tax deductible. The estate also serves to cover funeral costs. The situation is somewhat different in the case of an obligation for moral reasons. A relative who does not inherit anything is not subject to any civil law obligation to pay for the funeral expenses. However, a moral obligation exists if the close social environment, such as relatives, friends or neighbors, expects the costs to be covered. The non-heir who bears the costs can claim the expenses from the legal heir. However, this procedure is often associated with difficulties. However, the funeral costs can be included in the tax return as "extraordinary burdens". Here, funeral costs must be set against the estate. In addition, other factors such as the total amount of one's own income, marital status and number of children are decisive.

The funeral expenses are composed of the following components: Costs due to death, for the funeral service and gravesite. This is contrasted with the inheritance, which consists of the estate and money outside the estate. Since 2003, the so-called appropriateness limit has been set at 7.500 euros. Higher costs cannot be claimed for tax purposes. 

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