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How to Deduct Extraordinary Expenses (Außergewöhnliche Belastungen)

Actually, taxpayers are not allowed to claim private expenses on their tax return.

Extraordinary expenses (Außergewöhnliche Belastungen)

Actually, taxpayers are not allowed to claim private expenses on their tax return. However, there are exceptions. And such exceptions are considered extaordinary expenses (Außergewöhnliche Belastungen). Anyone who has had to earn significantly more money within a calendar year in order to be able to finance their regular life should already know something about this topic.

Anyone who has felt the need to get a lot of money in order to deal with specific circumstances will be able to deduct some expenses from their taxes. Expenses for legal, moral or factual reasons are mandatory and cannot be avoided. However, it should be noted that these expenses are not unconditionally recognized by the tax office (Finanzamt).

So, if an event occurs that forces someone to spend too much, then according to legislation, the one who is “burdened” applies. Such expenses may only be incurred by you or a relative. There are exceptions with this as well. For example, expenses that have been paid for a non-family member who meet ethical requirements. Sometimes, these my be dependent payments (Unterhalt).

General and extraordinary expenses (Außergewöhnliche Belastungen)

Under income tax law, extraordinary expenses (Außergewöhnliche Belastungen) are divided into two categories. Paragraph 33a of the EStG regulates special extraordinary expenses. This is where a training allowance (Ausbildungsfreibetrag) of €924 annually is set for an adult child who is undergoing training. Paragraph 33b again lists other exceptional charges. For example, these are lump sums (Pauschalen) for those must be taken care of free of charge.

Special extraordinary expenses are fully deductible from the first cent, but there are lump sums and maximum amounts as well.

General exceptional charges are, however, only tax deductible for an individual reasonable limit of liability (zumutbare Belastungsgrenze). MyMemory For example, under Paragraph 33, this may be medical expenses.

Reasonable burden (zumutbare Belastungsgrenze)

The reasonable burden limit (zumutbare Belastungsgrenze) is based on the income amount, number of children and the tax rate (Steuertarif). The individual limit is then subtracted from the actual costs incurred. This is how you get the deductible as an extraordinary burden amount.

Limit value rating

  • up to €15,340: Childless, unmarried 5%; childless, married 4%; with 1 or 2 children 2%; 3 or more children 1%
  • from € 15,431 to € 51,30: childless, unmarried 6%; childless, married 6%; with 1 or 2 children 3%; 3 or more children 1%
  • from € 51,131: childless, unmarried 7%; childless, married 6%; with 1 or 2 children 4%; 3 or more children 4%

Exceeded burden limit (zumutbare Belastungsgrenze)

Unfortunately, you cannot know until the end of the year whether you have reached the burden limit (zumutbare Belastungsgrenze) or not. However, until then all invoices/receipts should be collected in any case. It is advisable to estimate planned high-priced applications within the calendar year. So, for those that know they will have to get dental work done, they can schedule these items in a targeted manner. Thus, it is more probable that a reasonable limit is reached.

Außergewöhnliche Belastung von der Steuer absetzen

Items that can be deducted from your taxes

  • Expenditure for inpatient or outpatient treatment
  • Hospital expenses
  • Illness-related accommodation of one’s own person in a nursing home (also due to age)
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Healing methods that are not recognized
  • Medical regimens, provided that they cure or alleviate an illness
  • Medications, remedies and aids prescribed by the doctor
  • Travel costs to the doctor or pharmacy
  • Expenses for the treatment of a reading and spelling weakness
  • Cost of an outpatient caregiver
  • Education allowance (full-age child must be entitled to child benefit, be in vocational training and may not be housed in the same household)
  • Burial costs (funeral costs must be higher than inheritance and other compensation)
  • Replacement costs (e.g. costs caused by fire or flood, for example)