If you are an expat in Berlin, a Steuerberater can be a huge help for dealing with the German tax system. They can help you file your taxes, do your bookkeeping, register your business, handle employee payrolls and much more.
A Steuerberater is a certified tax advisor (licensed by the state), who has passed a special examination called “Steuerberaterprufung” that separates them from other business advisors. They are restricted from working as a commercial advisor while practicing as a licensed tax advisor and must adhere to strict professional duties.
It is important to understand what a licensed Steuerberater can and cannot do, because their professional duties have a direct impact on your day to day life. A good example is that they are obligated to be completely correct when submitting their clients’ tax information in front of public authorities such as the Finanzamt or court (depending on your situation).
While it may seem like a hassle, a Steuerberater is often worth hiring to save time and ensure accuracy. They can also help you navigate through the complicated German tax system and avoid common tax pitfalls.
There are many software solutions that can replace the functions of a Tax Advisor on your daily work, though not on their advice. For example, Accountable is a great tool that allows you to create invoices, record expenses and declare your taxes in simple English!
The best way to find a Tax Advisor in Berlin is to look through the databases of the various professional associations that list registered license professionals. This form from the Deutscher Steuerberater Verband or this one from DATEV are great ways to search for a tax advisor in your area.
They usually charge a fixed fee for each task that they do on your behalf. They can also charge for advising you on how to improve your financial situation.
Depending on your needs, you might need more than one service from a tax advisor. Some of them offer additional services such as drafting your tax return or reviewing it.
A lot of them even offer free consultations to get you started with the process of registering your freelance tax number.
You will need a freelance tax number (Steuernummer) if you are self-employed in Germany or have income from property outside of the country. This is essential for your day to day work and the only way you can legally pay tax on your earnings.
When you sign up for Sorted’s Starter, Kleinunternehmer or Pro plan, you will be paired with a dedicated tax firm in Germany that can provide both English and German support. They will review your tax reports and advise you on the best tax solutions for your situation.