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I have to do a tax declaration for a small society (Eingetragener Verein, gemeinnützig) in Germany.

We only had some membership fees as income, did not sell anything, and did not get any other money. There is an online tax declaration form ELSTER but the form does not speak to me.

Has anyone used ELSTER before? Is it really as simple as filling in 0's everywhere but the one field for membership fees?

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I've used Elster for a number of years now (first because I was required to, as I did some freelance translation work; now to get taxes back).

I'm afraid I've never submitted a tax declaration for an organisation, so I can't speak to that angle, sorry.

To your question - in principle, I would say "yes, it is that simple" :D. And typically, you don't need to fill 0's in everywhere either, you just leave the field blank :) . What makes it trouble / work is knowing which fields you do need to fill out. Eg in your case, is it really just the membership fees you need to enter? Otherwise, I'd argue its simple enough to fill in.

Oh final point / caveat I just noticed: I've in fact not been using the Online version of Elster ("Mein Elster"), which I think you're referring to. I've used "Elsterformular", which is a Windows based version, and I guess - depending on your preferences - might be more comfortable for you. It's pretty hidden on the Website nowadays, so here's a link: https://www.elster.de/elsterweb/infoseite/elsterformular

Addition pointed out by @cbeleites, which is a good tip: If you're not sure about something, you can call the tax offices, ie your local "Finanzamt" (you can find that here ). They're usually quite helpful!

Hope that helps (if not the original poster, than someone else)!

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In addition to @SeanCJ's answer

  • (in my experience online Elster vs. ElsterFormular does have some differences - there are some things that are available in one but not the other. "Normal" income tax is not one of them, though)

  • My advise would be to give the tax office a call and ask them which form is for you (I also don't know Vereins tax declarations) in which line to put your number. Nowadays their service line is quite friendly and helpful (and while they do not give tax advise, they do in fact have a duty to help you fill in the numbers into the correct places of their forms)

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