The biggest challenge for an international in Berlin is to navigate the German tax system alone. Hiring a Steuerberater won't be cheap, but it will save you a lot of headaches during your first few years in Germany.

Steuerberater or Buchhalter?

Should you hire a Steuerberater (tax advisor) or a Buchhalter (bookkeeper)? Tax advisors are allowed to submit tax declarations and financial statements in your name. Bookkeepers can fill the papers, but you must submit them yourself. If a Steuerberater makes a mistake, they are legally liable. If a Buchhalter makes a mistake, it's your problem.

Related guide: Steuerberater or Buchhalter: what's the difference?

English-language tax software for Germany

If you are an employee, you can use websites like Taxfix or SteuerGo.

If you are a freelancer, you can use Debitoor or Sorted. I still recommend you to get a tax advisor. If you don't know what you are doing, you can make very expensive mistakes.

English-speaking tax advisors

The list below was compiled by hand through hours of research. We found tax accountants that speak English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish and Chinese. We also included advisors from the US Embassy's list of tax advisors that specialise in filing US taxes. You may also look at SmartExpat's list of expat accountants. You can also use this tool to find accountants by language.

If you know a Steuerberater that is missing from this list, let us know.