an employer is offering 3K EUR as signing bonus, I was told that it's taxable, so I want to calculate how much tax do I have to pay and how much will be the 3K after all tax deductions?

I live in Berlin, my tax class is III.

  • Germany has progressive tax. WIthout knowing your exact tax situation - including you income in the tax year so far and the income you will get so we can calcualte your income without and with this 3k - there is no way to give a number. And if we HAVE the numbers, it is illegal. Assume that you pay your marginal tax rate on the 3000.
    – TomTom
    Oct 13, 2019 at 15:48
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    @TomTom: "if we have the numbers, it is illegal" - what do you think would be illegal about calculating income tax from income? After all, the only "secrets" involved are OP's income, the progressive tax rate is very much public knowledge as it is written in the law. Oct 13, 2019 at 18:29
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    Tax advice of any form is highly regulated in germany.
    – TomTom
    Oct 13, 2019 at 22:47
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    @TomTom: what is highly regulated is "geschäftsmäßig" (≈ commercial or alike) help on taxes or if the tax office has explicitly forbidden someone to help on tax questions. Among the types of help that are allowed even though the provider operates geschäftsmäßig are btw. employers helping their employees with questions related to wage tax. All this can be learned from Steuerberatungsgesetz. And there is no whatsoever restriction on telling OP where/how to find help on their tax questions or whom to ask (tax office | tax advisor | Lohnsteuerhilfeverein | ! random strangers on the internet|...) Oct 14, 2019 at 21:50
  • @TomTom: note that all income tax advise and help enters OP's (gross) income, for the calculation we can conveniently point them to the tax office themselves: bmf-steuerrechner.de/ekst/eingabeformekst.xhtml or to the text of the law: gesetze-im-internet.de/estg/__32a.html Oct 14, 2019 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


As @Tomtom correctly pointed out, German income tax is progressive, so it will depend on your total income.

However, your employer should be able to tell you how much they'll have to deduct and there's nothing wrong with asking them this. This will tell you how much you should expect to arrive at your account. You can also check that with the online calculator provided by the tax office, section Lohnsteuer (wage tax).

Your income tax declaration may lead to some adjustments later on - but it will probably be difficult to pull a precise unambiguous number for the bonus out of that other than doing a marginal calculation.

You can also use the preview function of the income tax declaration software to get an idea beforehand. That is only as good as you are in entering all the relevent information, though.

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