If you have any kind of income in both a German-speaking country and an English-speaking country such as Australia, you may need to declare that income to the relevant tax authority in either country. The tax you have paid will be an important item when preparing your tax return in either country. Note that the rules do vary quite significantly from country to country, and you could easily fall foul of the law unless you know exactly what is expected of you.
If you do need to document your income and tax paid, say in Germany, but you are living and working in an English-speaking country such as Australia, then you will need to have your German tax return translated into English so it can be understood by the relevant tax authority such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO). It is unlikely that you will only need to show how much tax you have paid. You will probably also need to show how much income you have earned outside of the country you are living in. An English translation of your German income tax return can be made by the same translator or translation agency who handles all your other important personal document translations.
You might wonder why you need to show your tax return to anyone. It is because some countries only allow tax residence status in a single country. In Australia, for example, as long as you are legally working and have a tax file number (TFN), you get substantial tax reduction benefits if you are resident in the country for more than 6 months. However, any income worldwide that you earn, e.g., from shares, a second job, interest from a bank deposit, business profits, or rent from a property you own, must be declared and taxed within Australia.
Concessions for any tax you have paid in those other countries will be made as long as you have the tax statement to prove what tax you have paid or owe, and this must be translated into English. It may make sense now just why you should have an English translation of the German income tax return. If you don’t, the amount of tax you have already paid won’t be taken into consideration and you could wind up paying more tax than you need to.
If you are confused about the tax requirements in the country you are now living in, it may be best to get help from a tax consultant. It may also be useful to know whether there are any reciprocal agreements between the country you are tax-resident in and any other country you are earning an income in. You may be able to avoid paying any tax in the other countries and just pay tax on all declared income in the country you are officially tax-resident in.
Many countries do need to see a certified translation of all your important documents. The certification is almost always done by the translator or translation agency handling the translation of your tax statement and other documents. The certification helps to provide proof that the translation of the German tax return into English is genuine and accurate.
How much you earn and how much tax you pay is not just of interest to you. Governments all around the world are anxious that you pay the right amount of tax. If you do earn an income or several incomes in countries other than the one you are now living in, you may need to show how much you earn and how much tax you have been paying in order to keep your local tax authority happy. If you are a German speaker, you may need to have your tax statement professionally translated to ensure it is legitimate. You should check to see whether your tax statement translation needs to be accompanied by a certificate from the translator.
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