Employees in Germany

Commuter allowance or travel expenses to the place of work

Journeys to work make up part of the so-called professional expenses which must be entered in Appendix N of the tax declaration (annex for income from employment) in order to make it tax-deductible.

In addition to this commuter allowance, there are still a lot of other professional expenses, all of which are summarized. Before you make your travel costs tax-free, you should check whether the cost is worth indicating in Appendix N. As an employee, you are entitled to a standard amount of EUR 1,000 as professional expenses which is taking in to account in any case. The indication of all professional expenses in the tax return is therefore only worthwhile if you are certain to exceed this amount.

How high is the travel allowance?

The travel allowance is 0.30 Euros per kilometer travelled. But beware, it is only for the one-way route, so you must not use the round trip to calculate your travel costs. Moreover, only the direct route to the workplace is considered, detours are not accepted! An exception to this is when you need to go to multiple locations. Then the rate of 0.30 Euros per kilometer is valid for the first stop, and 0.60 Euros per kilometer can be considered for the journey to the next place of work. If you have several apartments, you are only allowed to use the trips from the closest one to the workplace, unless the farther apartment is where you have your center of vital interests. The travel allowance is always the same, whether you are commuting by car, by bicycle or by public transport or even on foot.

What you must indicate in Appendix N

In order to claim travel expenses as professional expenses, you must provide the following information in Appendix N: the type of vehicle used, the number of working days in which you have visited your job site and the length of the one-way route.

Travel allowance for privately used service cars

In the case of a service car provided by your employer, you may only claim the travel expenses in the tax return if you properly tax the private use of the car as a financial advantage. You have the choice between the 1-percent method and the driving logbook. In the first method, you have to charge the car a lump sum of 1% of the list price per year and pay additional taxes in the amount of 0.03 percent of the list price and the mileage. A tax consultant can tell you which solution is more favorable for you when you are filling your tax return.