Child allowance: parents wave a repayment from the tax authorities

Child allowance Parents beckons a repayment from the tax authorities

Parents hope to pay back overpaid taxes.

Frankfurt Thousands of parents can hope for a repayment from the tax office. The reason: The Lower Saxony Finance Court criticized the amount of the child allowance in 2014 in an interim legal protection procedure (file number: 7 V 237/15). The child allowance is "unconstitutionally too low for several reasons". As a result, parents paid too much tax and too high a solidarity surcharge. The decision does not have an immediate impact on other parents, but it is an important signal.

Starting point for the dispute: According to the Federal Government’s Ninth Minimum Living Report, a living minimum of EUR 4,440 should have been tax-free for children in 2014. In fact, the child allowance in the year was only 4,368 euros, so it was possibly 72 euros too low. "Depending on the tax rate, parents paid more than 30 euros too much tax and solidarity surcharge per child," the Federal Taxpayers Association (BdSt) calculates.

In the case of minors, parents are always entitled to child benefit or a child allowance. No matter if the offspring is already working or not.

For children of legal age who have not yet reached the age of 25, child benefit is only available under certain conditions, see below.

When the offspring take up initial vocational training or study, the parents are still entitled to child benefit.

There are often a few free months between the Abitur and the start of your studies and generally between your school leaving certificate and the start of your training. Child benefit will continue to be paid during a transition period of a maximum of four months.

Those who cannot continue their vocational training because they have not been given an apprenticeship position will be supported with child benefit during this time. However, the will to train must be there.

If under-25s are doing a voluntary social (FSJ) or ecological (FÖJ) year, there is child benefit in the meantime. However, this only applies up to the age of 21.

If son or daughter because of a physical, mental or mental handicap cannot support themselves, the parents receive child benefit.

Parents are funded by the tax authorities either through the payment of child benefit or through a child allowance. The child benefit is paid monthly by the family funds, the allowance is deducted from income and thereby reduces the tax burden. The tax offices automatically check which variant is cheaper for parents as part of the income tax return. It is estimated that five percent of taxpayers benefit more from the child allowance.

It is not possible to get both benefits at the same time. Nevertheless, the problem surrounding the child tax allowance in 2014 ultimately affects all parents who in 2014 one or the other state support for their children. When the solidarity surcharge is set, the child allowances are always deducted, even from those parents for whom child benefit is cheaper.

Tax return: When the tax office pays six percent interest

Tax authorities are not known to reward dawdling citizens. They make an exception when submitting the tax return. Those who submit late get high interest rates – under two conditions.

For the plaintiff before the Lower Saxony Financial Court, the judges have now suspended the "execution of a decision on income tax and solidarity surcharge 2014" as part of an interim legal protection procedure. The plaintiff immediately gets back the overpaid taxes and solos. This does not apply to all other parents.


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Christina Cherry
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