ELSTER Explanations Part I

What does ELSTER stand for?

The abbreviation ELSTER stands for ” EL ektronic ST your ER clarification”. Most of the time the term is used today in the narrow sense of the word, which only refers to the tax return. In fact, it includes all electronic communication between the citizen and the tax office.

What is ELSTER? – definition

ELSTER is the electronic tax return . The forms can be filled out online and then sent directly to the tax office with a click of the mouse. This process has the advantage that the forms are always up-to-date and that current legal changes are immediately incorporated into the tax return.

According to ELECTRONICSENCYCLOPEDIA, ELSTER has its own online portal, so there is no need to download any software.

It can be used by employees, employers and the self-employed, but also by retirees – it is used by everyone who sends tax data to the tax office or wants to submit a tax return.

Incidentally, the www.elster.de portal not only offers forms for income tax , but also various others, such as the trade tax return or capital gains tax registration, corporation tax , wage tax and sales tax .

In addition, many other services and forms such as the income-surplus-calculation are available with the help of the EÜR attachment .

Is ELSTER free?

Yes, the services are offered as a free service, all you have to do is register and create an account.

ElsterOnline vs. ElsterFormular

There are two variants: ElsterOnline and ElsterFormular. The difference is that ElsterOnline is the actual portal that requires registration, where you can log in and then fill out and send all forms online.

ElsterFormular, on the other hand, is free software with which the user can fill out all forms offline. Here, too, the data can be transmitted online to the tax office.

Important difference: The ElsterForm has to be printed out!

The difference between the two variants is that the ElsterForm is only considered submitted if the tax return is printed out, signed and received by the tax office with receipts by post.

Registration at ElsterOnline

To use the portal, you must first register on the portal free of charge . A step-by-step guide will guide you through the entire process. For the later login, however, it is necessary to decide on a variant: ID card, signature card, security stick or certificate file.

Then personal data such as email address and tax ID must be entered. You will then receive a link by email, for which an activation ID will be sent by post a few days later. As soon as the ID is entered on the page linked in the e-mail, the registration can continue.

A PIN can then be selected with which, after the necessary user certificate has been created, it can be downloaded. Only then is it possible to register correctly for the first time at ElsterOnline. In order to complete the registration, only a few personal details have to be entered.

Register with ELSTER

After successfully registering, it is easy to sign up for use. This is very easy using the “Login” button . The certificate file must then be uploaded and the password entered.

The “My ELSTER” account and the ELSTER portal

Anyone who is registered on the ElSTER portal receives their own user account under “My ELSTER”. The account is activated or deleted here. In addition, the certificate, i.e. the access / login, can be changed.

Is the ELSTER software available as a download?

As the name suggests, ElsterOnline is only used online through the login.

ElsterFormular, on the other hand, must be downloaded as software. ElsterFormular is available free of charge (and with a manual ) for Windows 7, 8 and 10 as a download .

Products and services from ELSTER?

Do the tax return yourself with ELSTER

With ELSTER you can

  • Workers
  • Pensioner (self-employed)
  • Retirees
  • Entrepreneur
  • Employer
  • Societies

Submit different tax returns electronically to the tax office. For this purpose, ElsterFormular is available as a free tax program for the German tax authorities, but other software products that have an ELSTER interface can also be used.

ELSTER has a list of the software products that can be used for data transmission on its website . There is a choice of products for the Windows, Mac OS and iOS operating systems.

With the service portal of the financial administration, ELSTEROnline , users can register in order to then submit various tax returns and reports to the tax office.

These tax returns and reports can be entered and submitted in the ELSTEROnline portal with an Internet browser. Administrations and organizations can use the software to exchange tax data with the tax authorities over the Internet.

For this purpose, the financial administration offers the free ElsterFT program and other software products with an ELSTER interface. The various options for private individuals are explained in more detail on the portal’s overview page under the heading “Private individuals” .

The main options are Mein ELSTER, ElsterFormular and software programs that support ELSTER (see also above under “ElsterOnline vs. ElsterFormular”).