12 Week Deadline: German Tax Returns for Canadians Receiving German Pensions
Siegfried Merten, MFA from St. Catharines, Ontario reports that the German Government is requiring the filing of German tax returns by some recipients of German pensions for the period 2005-2009. Non-compliance will result in an estimated tax and late filing penalties. He tells us more in this interview with KBR Staff:
Q. What is the issue with the German Tax Department, Siegfried?
A. Canadian taxpayers receiving German pensions may receive a letter from the German equivalent to CRA, Finanzamt Neubrandenburg (RiA), requesting the German Tax Returns for the years 2005-2009 to be filed within 12 weeks. It’s very important that clients of tax and financial advisors be contact immediately to be urged to open the mail and not to ignore it!
Q. What should be done?
A. If you do not comply the Tax Office has the authority to estimate your income and tax it accordingly. They may also levy penalty charges. Even after they have estimated everything you are still compelled by law to file the 5 tax returns and may be subjected to a fine.
Q. But isn’t that double taxation if you have filed your income properly on the Canadian tax returns?
A. If you have been declaring your German Pension on your Canadian Tax Return there should be no taxes owing to Germany since you have paid tax on them to Canada — but you still have to file the returns.