What is and how does the Elster system work in Germany?

Filing tax returns can be a tedious and complicated process, especially when dealing with paper forms and manual calculations. However, in Germany, taxpayers have an electronic solution at their disposal called Elster.

In this blog post, we will explore what Elster is, how it works, and how it can make fulfilling your tax obligations in Germany easier.

What is Elster? Elster, short for “Elektronische Steuererklärung” (electronic tax return), is the online system developed by the German Tax Authority for electronically submitting tax returns. With Elster, taxpayers can say goodbye to paper forms and take advantage of the convenience and efficiency of filing their tax returns online.

How Does Elster Work? Elster offers a secure online portal where taxpayers can submit their tax information electronically. Here are some key features of the system:

  1. Registration: Before using Elster, you need to register on the portal. This involves creating an account and providing certain personal information to ensure the authenticity of the tax data.

  2. Tax Return Filing: Once registered, you can access the online tax return forms and complete them electronically. Elster provides an intuitive interface and step-by-step guidance to facilitate the data entry process.

  3. Automatic Calculations: One of the main advantages of Elster is that it performs automatic tax calculations. As you enter the required data, the system will perform the necessary calculations, minimizing errors and simplifying the process.

  4. Corrections and Communication: If you make a mistake or need to make modifications to your filed return, Elster allows you to make corrections online. Additionally, the system offers the option to communicate directly with the Tax Authority for any queries or inquiries.

  5. Return Status Tracking: Elster also provides the option to check the status of your submitted return. You can verify if it has been received, is being processed, or has been fully processed.

Benefits of Using Elster: Elster offers several benefits for taxpayers in Germany:
  1. Time Savings: By filing your tax return online, you avoid the cumbersome process of completing paper forms and save valuable time.

  2. Accuracy and Error Reduction: The automatic tax calculations performed by Elster minimize human errors and ensure the accuracy of tax calculations.

  3. Easy Communication: The ability to communicate directly with the Tax Authority through Elster streamlines the process of resolving queries or making corrections.


Elster is the online tax return system in Germany that simplifies the process of fulfilling your tax obligations. With its user-friendly interface, automatic calculations, and the ability to communicate with the Tax Authority.

Elster has become an invaluable tool for taxpayers in Germany. I hope this blog post helps you understand what Elster is in Germany and how it can make the tax return process easier.

But the most important recommendation that we can make is to consult a tax advisor who will advise you on the use of Elster and in the event that it seems very difficult, you can also contact TAXFBA Steuerberatungsgesellschaft and thus facilitate the tax return of your company.

Remember to always consult official sources and stay informed about the requirements and deadlines set by the Tax Authority.

Good luck with your tax returns!

Elster offers a secure online portal where taxpayers can submit their tax information electronically. Here are some key features of the system