Parental allowance and ElterngeldPlus: calculate, maximize and apply correctly
Parental allowance is a financial transfer from the state. It gives fathers and mothers the opportunity to combine family and work without losing money. Parents can choose between parental allowance and parental allowance plus or combine both.
Parental allowance: definition
The parental allowance is a temporary compensation payment that is dependent on the net income and is intended to provide financial relief to young parents while starting a family. Fathers and mothers who are not fully employed due to the care of their child or who temporarily completely stop working are entitled to parental benefit. Parental allowance is also available to parents who live separately and single parents.
The new parental allowance: Elterngeld Plus
The parental allowance plus is also below "the new parental allowance" known and was introduced in 2015. It strengthens the compatibility of work and family life by multiplying the individual design options for parental leave and parental allowance. Mothers and fathers who want to start working part-time again while receiving parental allowance have the option of making longer use of family benefits. A reference month with basic parental allowance can be converted into two parental allowance plus months. In this way, parents can make better use of parental allowance and receive financial support of up to half the amount twice as long.
Parental allowance Plus also favors a partnership-based distribution of the parental allowance months between mother and father. Parents who opt for a partnership-based time arrangement receive a partnership bonus in the form of 4 additional ElterngeldPlus months. The prerequisite is that both work between 25 and 30 hours a week during this time. The same applies to single parents, while single parents are entitled to the entire partnership bonus on their own.
Before the parental allowance Plus was introduced, additional earnings had a negative impact on the parental allowance.
Parental allowance requirements
As a parent, the following prerequisites for receiving parental benefit must be met:
- You look after and raise your child yourself.
- You live in a common household with your child.
- You are not employed or do not work for more than 30 hours a week.
- They live in Germany.
- They are employees, civil servants, self-employed, unemployed or housewives. You are also entitled to parental benefit if you were not employed before the birth.
- You can receive parental allowance for your biological child, for the biological child of your spouse or partner. The child must not be 8 years old.
- Parental allowance can also be obtained from grandparents, siblings, aunts / uncles for the child in special cases (e.g. illness of the parents, disability or death).
- Special other services are provided for foster children.
How long can you receive parental allowance and parental allowance plus??
Parental allowance can be drawn from the birth of the child. This is not billed according to calendar months, but according to months of life. Both parents are entitled to a total of 14 months of parental leave, which they can freely divide between themselves. A parent can claim at least 2 and a maximum of 12 months.
How much parental allowance do you get??
The 14 monthly amounts total € 1,800. For each parent there is also the possibility to receive 4 additional monthly amounts of parental allowance plus (partnership bonus) in the amount of € 900. In addition, a sibling bonus of 10 percent is granted if there are at least one child under the age of three or two children under the age of six in the household. Parents of multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.) receive a surcharge of € 300 per reference month.
Example: Calculation of basic parental allowance
One parent had a net income of € 2,500 before birth. This income disappears completely at the beginning of the family formation, so that the net income amounts to 0 €. That makes an income difference of € 2,500. The basic parental allowance covers 65% of the difference and therefore amounts to € 1,625 per month.
Part-time work begins after 6 months. The parent earns € 500 a month. This also affects the basic parental allowance. The difference in income between the previous full-time salary and the net income after birth now amounts to € 2,000. The basic parental allowance again covers 65% of the difference and therefore amounts to € 1,300 per month.
Example 2: Calculation of parental allowance plus without income
Parents can decide whether to convert one reference month of basic parental benefit into two reference months of parental benefit plus. A maximum of 28 reference months of parental allowance plus can be made from a maximum of 14 reference months of basic parental benefit.
We assume the same income ratios before and after birth as in Example 1. The basic parental allowance would therefore amount to € 1,625 again. If this is converted into Elterngeld Plus, this results in a monthly payment of € 812.50, i.e. exactly half of the basic parental benefit. In total, both the withdrawal of the basic parental allowance over 12 months and the parental allowance plus for 24 months result in 19,500 euros.
Working while receiving parental allowance
Anyone who receives parental allowance can generally work on the side. However, working hours may not exceed 30 hours a week. Income earned in addition to the parental allowance must be reported to the responsible authorities and will be offset against the parental allowance.
Employees and civil servants must have a written agreement with their employer, e.g. B. submit a contract.
The self-employed can demonstrate through a reduced order situation or an additional assistant that they adhere to the restriction of 30 working hours per week.
Students and trainees do not have to limit working hours. In these cases, more than 30 hours a week are allowed. However, if a part-time job is added, the 30-hour limit applies to this activity again.
Tip: The competent authority treats working hours not monthly, but monthly. This means that you can spread 120 working hours per month over individual weeks.
The parental allowance calculator
You do not know how to combine parental allowance, parental allowance plus and partnership bonus in the most meaningful way for you personally? The parental allowance calculator can be of great help to you. This allows you to plan the time frame of your move and receive information on the best possible combinations. In a second step, the expected parental allowance is calculated. The result is not binding, but it is a very good guide. You can find the online parental allowance calculator at: familienportal.de/familienportal/meta/egr
Apply for parental allowance correctly
You must submit the application for parental allowance to the parental allowance offices of the districts and independent cities. You can apply for family benefits at the earliest from the birth of the child. It can only be paid retrospectively for the last 3 months before application. The day on which your application is received by the city or district is decisive.
Checklist: Documents for the parental allowance application
- completed parental allowance form
- Birth certificate of the child
- Copy of the parents’ ID card
- Proof of income: salary statement from the last 12 months before birth for employees, tax receipts >The parental allowance itself is tax-free. However, it has an impact on the tax return because it is subject to the progression reservation. This forces some new families to pay tax back. Due to the progression reservation, the tax rate increases on the taxable income and thus the tax burden. If you receive parental allowance, you are required to file a tax return for the year in question. It is part of the income and accordingly has an impact on the personal tax rate. This applies to both the self-employed and employees. The family benefit must be stated in the mantle sheet of the tax return, under "Income replacement benefits subject to the progression clause" (page 4, line 91).
Attention: Keep the certificate of the parental allowance office so that you can present it to the tax office if necessary. On the certificate you will also find the necessary information for the tax return.
Increase parental allowance: tips and tricks
The net salary is not a fixed figure. Both employees and the self-employed can influence it and thus increase the parental allowance.
Choose the right tax bracket: Married couples should check whether the temporary change to a different tax bracket is worthwhile. A change from tax class V to tax class III significantly increases the net salary and thus the subsequent parental allowance. However, this also increases the partner’s wage tax deductions and the wage tax paid too much will only be returned with the next tax return. In this case, it is important to consider whether the income will be sufficient to cover current expenses. You can determine the effects of a tax class change at www.abgaberechner.de and apply to the tax office both before and during pregnancy.
Attention: The basis for calculating the parental allowance is the income within the 12 months before the birth. If the income tax class has changed during this time, what applies was “in the majority” of the 12 months. The change should therefore take place as early as possible. Furthermore, the period of maternity protection before birth (6 weeks) does not belong to the calculation period of 12 months. As a result, mothers who are entitled to maternity leave must change their tax bracket 9 months before the birth in order to be able to show the “predominant number” of 12 months.
Apply for allowances: If, as an employee, you get money back from the tax office due to high advertising costs, for example, you can apply for an allowance there. So you get a higher net salary instead of a later tax refund.
Expenses for the job are particularly suitable: the flat-rate fee of 30 cents per kilometer between home and work, training expenses, equipment, a home office, double housekeeping, expenses for business trips. Taxpayers can also have childcare costs, maintenance payments, donations, church tax, household services, craftsman services or household help with a mini job credited in advance.
Add royalties and commissions: Some employees receive variable salary payments in addition to the monthly basic salary. Regular and ongoing payments of this type are taken into account as wages when calculating the parental allowance. For example, if, in addition to the monthly basic salary, contractual agreements are paid out several times a year, these must be included in the parental allowance calculation. A self-employed part-time job or a mini job can also help to increase the parental allowance.
single payments such as B. Christmas bonus or holiday bonus or tax-free income such. B. Tips and night supplements have no effect. They are deducted from the gross income for the past 12 months.
Extend the payment period: Parental allowance is actually intended for 12 months after the birth of a child. Couples can get it for 14 months if mother and father take time out to look after the children. However, only about 25 percent of fathers have applied for these so-called partner months.
Maximize the profit: If you are self-employed, it is advisable to ensure the highest possible profit in the financial year before the birth (issue invoices early, collect outstanding debts, negotiate advances, keep operating expenses low). The calculation of parental allowance is based on the profit of the last year determined in the tax assessment. Tax prepayments and contributions to statutory social insurance are deducted from this. Contributions to private insurance are not taken into account.
Parental allowance or parental allowance plus: parents have a choice
Parents whose children were born on or after July 1, 2015 can therefore choose between the new parental allowance Plus or the previous “basic” parental allowance. By the way: Housewives, housekeeping, students and the unemployed who look after their child themselves and work no more than 30 hours a week, as well as the unemployed, also receive the minimum amount of the parental allowance of 300 euros regardless of income.
Financial support for civil servants remains
There is also a special regulation for civil servants. They are still entitled to benefits even during parental leave. The subsidy rate increases by 5 per child to a maximum of 70%. In addition, civil servants receive a subsidy for health and nursing care insurance in the amount of 31 euros during parental leave, provided that the statutory health insurance limit was not exceeded before parental leave.
FAQs about parental allowance
I have to have worked before the child is born to receive the parental allowance? No, you will also receive parental allowance if you have not worked in the 12 months before the birth. Pupils and students are also entitled to parental allowance in the amount of a minimum amount of € 300 per month for basic parental allowance and € 150 per month for parental allowance plus.
How long do single parents receive parental allowance?? Single parents receive parental allowance for the full 14 months if they meet the requirements for the tax relief amount for single parents in accordance with § 24b paragraph 1 and 2 income tax law (EStG). It is also a condition that the other parent does not live in an apartment with him or with the child. The child must live in a household with the single parent and the single parent must not have a household with another adult.
How can the parents divide the entitlement to parental benefit among themselves? Parents can freely divide the number of monthly amounts apart from the two partner months and claim the family benefit in succession or at the same time.
Example: One parent can claim parental allowance for the life months 1 to 12 and the other parent receives it in the life months 13 and 14.
Both parents can receive parental allowance simultaneously for the first 7 months. Then the 14 monthly amounts are also used up. The same applies to the monthly amounts of parental allowance plus.
Do I have to be employed 12 months before the birth to receive parental allowance? No. But the following applies: the shorter the period in which income was earned in the year before the birth, the lower the parental allowance.
Are there income limits for parental allowance?? No, the income only determines the amount of the parental allowance.
Parental allowance is counted towards unemployment benefit II (“Hartz IV”)? Yes, parents who receive unemployment benefit II are theoretically entitled to parental benefit. However, this benefit has been credited to Hartz 4 since January 1, 2011. This means that the 300 euros of parental allowance are deducted from the unemployment benefit and the monthly amount that Hartz 4 recipients receive does not actually change as a result of the parental benefit.
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