3 Min.

Can the costs of naturalization be deducted for tax purposes? (Einbürgerung)

Many people dream of working in a foreign country and being able to earn a sustainable income. Those who move out of their homes to work in a new country might, after living there for a long time, decide that they do not intend to return. Such people may even accept a new nationality under certain circumstances.

Whatever their reasons for entry, immigrants can apply to become German citizens under certain conditions. Citizenship comes with a whole bunch of rights and obligations. To an immigrant, the hurdles of becoming a citizen are often high and sometimes excessively expensive. The question that most people have is whether the state covers part of the cost.

Requirements for naturalization

  • Secured residence status
  • Living regularly in Germany for the last eight years
  • The immigrant’s livelihood must be self-raised
  • Be able to communicate in German
  • Knowledge of the legal and social order
  • Previous nationality is filed
  • No criminal record
  • Commitment to the democratic order of the constitution

Naturalization costs money

If you want to obtain German citizenship, you have to be able to cover its cost in addition to meeting the conditions already mentioned above. To initiate the naturalization process, for instance, you will be required to pay 255 euros. For children under 16 years and without an income, 51 euros have to be paid. If a child is the subject of the naturalization but not his or her parent, the full amount required must still be met.

Besides covering the fees for the naturalization process, the applicant must also take a test. To take the tests, the immigrant has to cover a cost of 25 euros per test. The tests can be performed at various evening schools. In addition to the citizenship tests, there is also a language test, which can be different depending on your state. To get the total cost incurred, the expenses need to be calculated at a flat rate. Where applicable, individual expenses can be added.

Can the costs be deducted from the tax?

Becoming a German citizen does not just occur easily. Whoever intends to become a citizen must be ready to put a few thaler aside for it. Of course, there is also the question of whether the costs can be deducted from the tax.

Integration course

Integration courses consist of several hours and usually consist of a language course and an orientation course. The costs are often up to 1,300 euros. A certain amount will be taken over by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. If an integration course is obligatory, then the expenses are tax deductible as an extraordinary tax burden, otherwise the state does not participate.

Einbürgerungskosten steuerlich geltend machen

Voluntary participation

Unless the costs that one needs to cover are necessary, they will not be recognized by the tax authorities. This is to say that the authorities only come in when the situation involves an inevitable participation. If that is not the case, everything plays out differently. For consideration, therefore, the applicant must present proof of compulsory attendance to the case officer.

What about German courses?

The cost of taking one or more German language courses are also not taken into consideration when calculating an immigrant’s tax burden, as they take place on a voluntary basis. The Federal Finance Court (file reference: VI R 14/04) counts the expenditure for a German course as part of the “non-deductible cost of living”.