Mini-jobs are particularly lucrative. They are a tax-attractive form of employment. Wherever you look, you will find workers who are employed for just 450 euros a month - the shop assistant in the supermarket, the waiter at the bar, the cleaner in the office, and the student who earns a little extra whilst studying. But what exactly is a minijob, and what about taxation?
What is a minijob?
Basically, German tax law doesn’t recognise the term ‘minijob’. Instead, it talks about jobs with low pay or jobs of limited duration. Both variants have some advantages. For example, wage tax (Lohnsteuer) can be assigned to the tax office on a flat-rate basis (Pauschalversteuerung). However, there are also some other things to consider.
From a purely legal point of view, a distinction must be made between part-time and short-term employment.
- Average earnings must not exceed 450 euros per month
- Minimum wage must be paid
- Holiday and Christmas bonuses must be taken into account in calculation
- Wages must remain the same in the event of fluctuations
- The 450 euro limit must not be exceeded if someone has several mini-jobs
- If someone has a minijob in addition to their main activity, it remains insurance-free
- Employment is temporary
- No social insurance obligation exists regardless of the salary level
- 3-month employment period (employee must work at least 5 days a week) or 70-day employment period (low weekly employment)
- Several employment relationships are added together
Taxation of minijobs
In principle, employees do not have to pay attention to anything else. Employers who have to pay a flat-rate tax (Pauschale) for the employment relationship have a little more work to do. However, this type of taxation has no effect on the employee’s income.
There are 3 ways in which the employer can tax the minijob
- Flat-rate tax of 2% (Pauschsteuer): flat-rate pension insurance contributions are paid. This is used to pay income tax, church tax (Kirchensteuer) and the solidarity tax (Solidaritätszuschlag).
- Flat-rate income tax (Pauschalierung der Lohnsteuer): monthly flat-rate taxation at 20%. Contributions for church tax (Kirchensteuer) and solidarity tax (Solidaritätszuschlag) are added together.
- Individual taxation: based on the electronic wage tax deduction attributes (Lohnsteuerabzugsmerkmale).
There is a peculiarity regarding temporary minijobs (geringfügig entlohnte Beschäftigung) - they can only be taxed at a flat rate of 25% (pauschale Lohnsteuer) compared to low-income jobs. This is particularly the case if:
- Occasional employment exists
- The activity may not last longer than 18 consecutive working days
- The wage per working day may not exceed 62 euros
- Commencement of employment is unpredictable and short-term
Both types of mini-job have one thing in common: the wage must not exceed 12 euros per hour.