In December there are important deadlines, changes in the law or price adjustments that are important for consumers - and can even save money. WELT has compiled the innovations and explained what it is all about.
Things are getting serious in energy policy. Gas and district heating customers will be exempted from paying on account in December. Anyone whose deduction is debited from their account does not have to do anything else. Anyone who transfers by standing order or manually must adjust the payment manually.
In the case of tenants, the landlord receives the emergency aid. He has to pass this on in the utility bill in 2023. The emergency aid is intended to bridge the time until the gas price brake takes effect in the coming year.
Pensioners are to receive an energy price flat rate of 300 euros in December to cushion the increased costs. Anyone who is entitled to an old-age, reduced earning capacity or survivor's pension from the statutory pension insurance or to pension payments under the Civil Servants Act or the Soldiers' Pension Act as of December 1, 2022 will receive the energy price flat rate.
The entitlement only exists if you live in Germany. The energy price flat rate will be paid out once through the respective pension payment offices by mid-December. It is not subject to social security contributions, but is subject to income tax.
From December 11, 2022, more and new ICE trains are to run, while the prices for Flex tickets and Bahncards will be increased by up to seven percent.
There are more changes at Deutsche Bahn when the winter timetable is introduced. Deutsche Bahn promises that the new high-speed line between Wendlingen and Ulm will reduce travel time between Stuttgart and Munich by 15 minutes.
In addition, there are more trips to other European countries, faster connections to Frankfurt Airport and the Ruhr area. And the ICE 3neo, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km/h, comes with the winter timetable. There will be more ICE trains than ever before, Deutsche Bahn is jubilant.
Anyone who hires a craftsman can claim up to 6,000 euros for tax purposes per year. The tax office recognizes 20 percent of this – i.e. a maximum of 1200 euros, which can be deducted from the tax liability.
If this leeway has not yet been exhausted, it may be worth checking whether such expenses can be brought forward - this is also possible if upcoming work is paid in advance, because it is not the time of the service but the payment that is relevant for tax purposes.
In order for the expenses to be deductible, the craftsman must show the material costs separately on the invoice. And the invoice amount must be transferred.
The same applies to household-related services, for which 20 percent of labor and travel costs up to the amount of 20,000 euros per year can be claimed for tax purposes - i.e. a maximum of 4000 euros as a direct deduction from the tax liability.
When it comes to health expenditure, it depends on income and marital status whether costs for treatment or new glasses can be claimed for tax purposes. Because only costs that go beyond a so-called reasonable burden according to paragraph 33 of the Income Tax Act can be claimed for tax purposes at all.
You should therefore check whether certain expenses can be brought forward, for example for new glasses, if the reasonable burden has been exceeded in 2022. However, it can also be worth waiting until next year when further health expenditure is foreseeable.
According to Anwaltsauskunft.de, the reasonable burden is six percent for total income between 15,340 and 51,130 euros and seven percent for income above that.
In addition, gains and losses on investments that occur in the same year can be offset against each other. If you stay with a bank, the billing is usually done by the bank. However, if profits and losses are made at different banks, a loss certificate is required.
According to Steuerring, it must be requested from the bank that reported the losses by December 15 if the settlement is to work this year.
For the year 2022, a flat rate of 1200 euros in advertising costs can be claimed. That's 200 euros more than before. The employee lump sum should be used as much as possible to save tax.
If a new printer is needed anyway or a new mobile phone, it would be worth bringing forward expenditure if the flat rate has not yet been exhausted. With an invoice paid this year, it can still be deducted in 2022.
If you want the Christmas mail to arrive on time for the holidays, you should observe the postal deadlines. Letters will still be delivered by Christmas Eve if posted by December 22, the company said.
Parcels take a little longer: They must be posted by December 20th at the latest if they are to be delivered to Germany in time for presents. Different dates apply to shipments abroad.
E-mail for private users will be discontinued on December 1st. Since 2010, users have been able to digitally create a letter with the service, which is then printed out and delivered by Swiss Post. The company now advises private customers to use the e-mail providers GMX and Web.de as well as their own Post and DHL app as alternatives.
In the future, customers will be able to send letters on paper from a new online office. Business letters should continue to be able to be sent via e-mail.
The warning systems for civil protection are to be tested at eleven o'clock on December 8th. Among other things, the highest warning level is to be sent to all mobile phones in order to test the so-called cell broadcast, which is to be used regularly for public warnings from February 2023.
In contrast to other warning systems such as Nina or Katwarn, no app is required to receive the alarm. But other warning channels such as warning apps, display boards, sirens, radio and television are also to be tested.
The Corona break at New Year's Eve fireworks is over. After two years without, rockets and firecrackers can be sold again this year and ignited on New Year's Eve. The 2020 and 2021 bans were imposed to protect hospitals from being overwhelmed during the pandemic.
But municipalities may continue to impose firecracker bans. In many cities there are such prohibited zones in the inner city area, for example in Munich within the Mittlerer Ring or in Berlin on Alexanderplatz. And in the immediate vicinity of churches, hospitals, children's and old people's homes as well as buildings that are particularly sensitive to fire, there should be no shooting at all.
"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 5 a.m. with the financial journalists from WELT. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.