The real Hallowe’en is in Germany

It’s dreadfully spooky. It makes you feel like you’ll never make it. It can take a whole day. It’s like torture but you cannot escape it. It’s every year in October in Germany.It’s this time of the year again; you get the adamant letter from the taxman who will ask you to pay your due.

I always praised the German tax system, I think it’s great that you pay all your taxes on a monthly basis, it’s deduced from your wages, you don’t have to worry about it, it’s all sorted out by your employer. However, if you happen to practice some other activity – freelance or anything similar – then you need to declare your income every year. And this is hell.

Tax forms

First of all the letter you get is rather succinct and does not give you much information about how to proceed. You have to find the official site where all the forms are available for downloading and hope you find the right one for you.

Even if you somehow manage to find the correct form, you’re not out of the woods yet. You still have to fill out the numerous lines with obscure titles and barbaric words that the Germans themselves call “Amtsdeutsch since nobody really understand what that horrendous jargon.

Thank God mine is done and sent (half electronically, half via post – go figure why) and my marriage survived the tax crisis. How on earth can this be made so complex when it took me 30 minutes to sort it out in Ireland? Germany, we love you, let’s make this whole tax thing easier!


About John Barré

English & German into French translator. Interested in languages, literature, video games, localisation & translation - among many other topics.
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