Filing deadlines for personal income tax and corporate tax

Begin May Tax on Web 2019 was opened. At the same time the filing deadlines for the tax return were published. An overview.

For personal income tax

In case you file your tax return yourself, properly filled out on paper, the tax return should in principle arrive with the tax authorities on the last working day of June. In 2019, that is 28 June. Posting the tax return on 28 June is not sufficient! It should be in the possession of the tax authorities on 28 June.

However, in case you use Tax on Web you are granted extra time until 11 July 2019. Experience shows that you better not wait until the last day(s). Notwithstanding that the tax authorities' servers becoming more powerful, it is sometimes hard to get in during the last days.

In some cases, you even do not have to file any tax return, since the tax authorities provide you spontaneously with a so-called 'proposal of a simplified tax return'. This as if it were a pre-filled-out tax return which you should only verify. Is everything OK, you do not have to do anything. Do you have certain remarks, you should send your comments through the answer form (deadline: 28 June 2019) or via Tax on Web (deadline: 11 July 2019).

Finally, you can also decide to have your tax return drafted and filed through a representative (accountant, bookkeeper, tax consultant, ...). Such representative should file the tax return digitally and has the time until 24 October 2019.

Important: the filing date has no impact on the date of the actual final settlement. In case your tax return is filed sooner, this does not mean that you will receive a tax refund (or have to pay additional taxes) sooner.

For corporate tax

For corporate tax the filing deadline depends on the date of the closing of the accounting year on the one hand and the date of the general shareholder's meeting on the other hand. For accounting purposes the general shareholders meeting should be held within six months after closing of the accounting year. The exact date should after all be mentioned in the articles of association.

The final date for filing the tax return is the last day of the month following the month of the statutory general shareholders meeting, however the filing period cannot be longer than six months following the closing of the accounting year. Theoretically a company closing on 31 December and having its shareholders meeting afterwards should file its tax return before 30 June. In case the general shareholders meeting would be held in April, the filing deadline would even be 31 May.

But in practice things are going completely different ...

In all cases where you, following the standard rules, should file the tax return between 1 January and 26 September 2019, you have until 26 September 2019 to file the tax return. In other words, for companies closing their accounting year between 31 December 2018 and 28 February 2019, 26 September 2019 is always the deadline.

Does your company close its accounting year after 28 February, the standard legal provisions apply. Or at least more or less ... The filing deadline then depends on the date of the general shareholders meeting ('until the end of the month following the month of the meeting') and the accounting year ('maximum 6 months'). But one exception applies ... i.e. when the meeting takes place in the sixth month after closing the accounting year, the deadline of six months no longer applies.

Example: the accounting year closes on 30 June 2019:

The general shareholders meeting takes place in October (4th month after closing): the last day for filing the tax return is then 30 November 2019.

The general shareholders meeting takes place in November (5th month after closing): the last day for filing the tax return is then 31 December. This is quite a particular date and therefore the tax authorities automatically grant extra time until 15 January.

The general shareholders meeting takes place in December (6th month after closing): since the maximum period of six months does not apply in this case, the last day for filing is 31 January 2020.

It doesn't matter whether you file through a representative or directly. The deadlines remain the same. The deadline bonus when filing digitally for personal income tax does not apply for corporate tax: contrary to personal income tax the corporate tax return can only be filed electronically through Biztax.

Please file in due time

Since filing tax returns has been largely digitalized, the tax authorities seldom grant supplementary delay. Only when you can demonstrate serious reasons or force majeure, the tax authorities will give delay. But in general, the tax authorities reason that when you have the time to file for delay, you also have the time to file the tax return ...

Besides, late filing is not a good idea since you will be fined 50 EUR. In case of recidivism this can reach up to 1.250 EUR. In case you exaggerate you can be faced with an ex officio assessment. The tax authorities will then tax you based on the income they know or they estimate your income on the basis of your life style or by comparing with other companies. You then have to prove your expenditure yourself. The fine is in such case replaced by a tax increase of 10% up to 200%. In other words, this can best be avoided.