I live and work in Germany. For the next six months I am going to work at a temporary external activity ("beruflich veranlasste Auswärtstätigkeit"). German tax laws offer the possibility to reduce ones taxable income in such situations for various reasons.
- Travel expenses (0,30€ / km)
- additional meal allowance (12€ / day for the first three months; Verpflegungsmehraufwand)
In both cases it is allowed to either reduce the taxable income by a fixed allowance or to get the same amount paid tax-free from the employer. I am now wondering which option would be better for me from a financial viewpoint. Unfortunately German tax laws are very complicated and I cannot simply calculate the difference of both options upfront (or at least I don't know how). If I choose the tax deduction option I would have to pay for the travel expenses by myself, of course.