The most important things at a glance:
- The tax deductible cost for students
- In 2022, the tax allowance for students is 9,984€.
- Internships and mini-jobs are tax-free up to 450 € per month
- BAföG and scholarships are not income and are therefore tax-free
- How to declare your taxes?
Based on the last observation, student life is getting more and more expensive, but students can deduct many costs from their tax return and claim them for tax purposes. In our blog post, we answer these questions, among others: Which costs are deductible? What if I have a part-time job? How does studying affect subsequent years for tax purposes? And what is the process to declare your taxes?
Nowday, students should also get a good overview of their finances and really learn how to plan it. In many places, rents are rising and expenses for travel costs, books and study materials are on top of that. The support from parents or BAföG is often no longer enough and students have to start a part-time job. But what are the tax implications?
These costs are tax deductible for students
All costs incurred in connection with your studies may be relevant for your tax return.
- Transportation expenses,
- Working materials, such as books, laptop/PC, printer, paper, office supplies and postage
- Semester fees
- Examination fees
- Rent in the context of a double household
- Additional subsistence expenses
- Interest on a loan, if applicable
The receipts of the expenses should be collected and kept each year.
Allowances for students – the basics
Many students earn extra money with part-time jobs. Either to make ends meet, to treat themselves to a holiday now and then or perhaps to save a few euros on the side. But what about tax contributions? Theoretically, every employee in Germany has to pay tax on his or her income. Thanks to the statutory tax allowances, however, you only have to pay taxes on income above a certain level. But be careful: There are a few things to bear in mind here!
Basically, there is a fixed tax allowance – €9,984 in 2022. It doesn't matter whether you have a mini-job, a student job, a marginal job or a part-time job.
Taxes for working students
As a working student, the annual tax-free allowance applies to you as normal. In principle, you are a normal employee. This means that you automatically have to pay taxes if your salary is above the tax-free amount. If your salary is below the exempt amount, you pay everything and the tax authorities get nothing. In addition to taxes, as a working student
you usually also pay social security contributions. These depend on the amount of your income and your working hours. You generally have to pay into the pension insurance, but you can also be exempted from this if you have a mini-job. However, if you do not earn
more than 450 € per month, you do not have to pay contributions to health, long-term care and unemployment insurance.
Mini-jobs are tax-free Mini-jobs are clearly defined employment relationships by law, and with an average monthly income of a maximum of 450 €, they are generally tax-free. Since your total annual
income is a maximum of 5,400 €, you can earn more than 450 € in individual months. So even if you accumulate overtime in some months, increase your hours or do a paid internship – don't stress! As long as your total earnings, including overtime and Christmas and holiday bonuses, do not exceed the basic tax-free amount, no taxes will be due.
What happens if the student allowance is exceeded?
Watch out! As soon as the annual tax-free allowance is exceeded, you have to pay tax on the amount above it. This is not a big deal, since you only have to pay tax on the excess amount and the tax rate is usually quite low, but it is still worth thinking about the income
limits beforehand and adjusting your working hours if you are in doubt.
File a tax return and get back the taxes you have paid!
With holiday jobs or internships, it can happen that you earn more as a student in a few months and pay taxes accordingly. However, as long as the annual tax allowance is not exceeded, you will not lose anything. If you earn more than 450 €, your employer will
automatically deduct the wage tax from your earnings. However, you can get back taxes you have already paid, for example, through holiday jobs or internships, by filing your income tax return. You can also claim study costs and tuition fees. The effort is therefore
worthwhile twice over!
BAföG and scholarships are not income and are therefore tax-free
As for the BAföG, its not considered as income, but rather a so-called training grant and is therefore tax-free. However, there are income limits attached to the training allowance: So if you earn a lot of money on the side, your support may be lower.
How to declare your taxes?
Its now very easy for everyone to declare the taxes because its done online using Elster.
The process to declare your taxes is as follow:
- Student has to register to Elster using this link. You must have your Tax Identification number (Steuer Identifikation Nummer) and your email address with you
- You will received an activation code via Email, then another one per post with the Retrieval code (Abrufcode). When you get both code, you can now obtain the Elster certificate file ‘’ Elster Zertifikatsdatei’’ use this link
- With the Elster certificate file ‘’ Elster Zertifikatsdatei’’, you can login and start the process of declaring your taxes and sent per online.
- The Tax office (Finanzamt) will received your tax declaration and evaluate everything and send you the Tax certificate (Steuerbeschein).