How much taxes you really pay in Germany

Discover the truth about income taxes in Germany and how much taxes you really pay. This article will shed light on the income taxation and how exactly it works. 🤔

Key Takeaways


In recent years, there has been a common perception that Germany is among the highest tax countries globally. However, a study conducted by the German Institute of Economics provides valuable insights into the reality of income tax rates in the country.

In this enlightening article from PerFinEx, we take a closer look at the study’s findings to uncover the truth about how much taxes individuals genuinely pay in Germany. Prepare to challenge your assumptions as we delve into the intricacies of tax brackets and unravel the intricacies of the German tax system.

Discover the actual income tax rates and gain a comprehensive understanding of the tax landscape in Germany. Whether you are a resident, an expatriate, or simply curious about the German tax system, this article will provide you with valuable insights and shed light on the truth behind tax rates in Germany.

Understanding taxable income:

Understanding the concept of taxable income is crucial for determining your personal income tax rate in Germany. It’s important to note that taxable income is neither your gross salary nor your net salary. Gross salary refers to the amount you earn based on your employment contract, while net salary is the income you receive after deducting taxes and social security contributions. Taxable income, however, is the figure you report in your tax declaration.

To provide an estimate of taxable income, a rule of thumb is to take the midpoint between your gross and net income. This approximation helps in understanding your tax obligations and allows for a more accurate assessment of your income tax rate. By grasping the distinction between gross salary, net salary, and taxable income, you can navigate the German tax system more effectively and make informed decisions regarding your finances.

The Average Tax Rates:

Let’s dive into the tax implications of the average German salary. With a gross income of around 48.000€, the net salary amounts to 30.657€. By utilizing the official income tax calculator provided by the German Ministry of Finance, we can determine the taxable income, which in this case is 39.329€. Surprisingly, the average tax rate for our earner is not the widely assumed 34%, but rather 20%.

This revelation challenges the common perception that Germany has one of the highest tax burdens globally. Understanding the actual tax rates empowers individuals to make more informed financial decisions and dispels misconceptions about taxation in Germany. It’s essential to be aware of accurate tax figures to plan effectively and optimize your financial strategies.

If you wanna avoid taxes when investing in Germany, feel free to schedule a free meeting with us. We will help you finding the best solution for you.

Tax Rates for Different Income Brackets:

To understand the tax rates for various income brackets, let’s look at the top 10%, top 5%, and top 1% of earners in Germany. To be in the top 10%, an individual needs a gross salary of 74.400€, resulting in a net salary of a little over 44.000€. The taxable income, taken as the midpoint (59.400€), leads to a maximum tax rate of 42% and an average tax rate of 26%. Surprisingly, the top 10% of earners pay an average tax rate of 26%, which is relatively reasonable.

Moving to the top 5% of earners, they need to earn at least 95.400€ gross (around 55.000€ net). With a taxable income of 75.000€, the maximum tax rate remains at 42%, and the average tax rate increases to 30%. Although the tax burden is increasing, it is still within limits. Nevertheless, one notices that it is slowly becoming unpleasant.

Finally, the top 1% of earners in Germany, known as the economic elite, need to earn a minimum of 152.400€ gross (approximately 86.000€ net). With a taxable income of 119.000€, the average tax rate jumps to 36%, while the maximum tax rate remains at 42%. Although the tax rates are higher for this category, it’s important to remember that these individuals also contribute to society through taxes.


Contrary to popular belief, income tax rates in Germany for average earners are not as high as they are often perceived to be. Average tax rates for top earners, however, including the top 5% and the top 1%, are at uncomfortably high levels.

Understanding taxable income, deductions and individual circumstances is crucial to getting a clearer picture of the taxes one actually pays in Germany. While taxes are a necessary contribution to society, advice from tax experts can help optimize tax planning and ensure tax compliance in Germany. Remember that an accurate knowledge of tax rates enables individuals to make informed financial decisions.

6 thoughts on “How Much Taxes You Really Pay In Germany: Exploring Income Tax Rates”

  1. Can you provide a summary of the study’s findings regarding the actual tax burden for individuals in Germany? How do the tax brackets play a role in determining the amount of taxes paid by different income groups? Additionally, what are some of the key intricacies of the German tax system that were explored in the article?

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