Minimum wage, child allowance, taxes – an overview of the most important changes at the turn of the year:
BASIC PENSION: Approximately 1.3 million people with a small pension receive a premium. Benefits are provided to those who are at least 33 years old for occupational pensions, child rearing and care activities. Your lifelong work should be recognized and you will not have to go to a social office. The average surcharge is 75 euros. The basic pension was officially launched on 1 January, but payment is likely to be delayed by several months due to heavy administrative burdens – and then made retrospectively.
HOME OFFICE PACKAGE: Those who work from home during the Corona crisis receive a tax bonus. You can request 5 euros per day of home office, but a maximum of 600 euros per year. The lump sum is part of the advertising expenses. Therefore, only those taxpayers who have a lump sum of EUR 1000, which comes to already usable income-related expenditure, benefits from it.
CO2 PRICE: In order to make fossil fuels more expensive and to promote climate-friendly alternatives, there is now a national CO2 price for transport and heating. Sales companies, such as refineries, initially have to pay € 25 for each tonne of CO2 generated by the combustion of diesel and petrol, fuel oil and natural gas. The price is passed on to customers, according to the German government, the price per liter of petrol increases by 7 cents, diesel and heating oil by 7.9 cents and natural gas increases by 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour. To this end, citizens should have relief elsewhere – for example, the surcharge for green electricity, which citizens pay with the price of electricity, is reduced from tax revenues.
CO2 COMPONENT OF HOUSING BENEFITS: In order not to burden the low-income people with CO2 prices, there is now a so-called CO2 component of the housing allowance. The expected additional heating costs should be offset by a surcharge. The amount depends on the size of the household and household income.
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SOLI-ABAU: The solidarity surcharge does not apply to almost all citizens. The ten percent with the highest income must continue to pay him.
PROHIBITION OF UPSKIRTING: Secret filming or shooting under the skirt (upskirting) or in a clip can now be punished for up to two years in prison. The same applies to the distribution of such recordings.
VAT: Since the turn of the year, the standard VAT rate of 19 percent has applied to most goods and 7 percent to everyday goods. The federal government has reduced the tax for half a year due to a corona pandemic so that people can spend money and support the economy despite uncertain times.
The minimum wage for the New Year is rising. But the dispute is growing louder about whether that is enough. Photo: dpa / Christophe Gateau
BASIC SECURITY: Hartz IV standard rates have increased slightly. A lone adult now receives 446 euros a month – 14 euros more than before. The rate for young people aged 14 to 17 has increased by € 45 to € 373 and the rate for children under five by € 33 to € 283. For children aged 6 to 13, it is 309 euros per month plus one euro.
MINIMUM WAGE: The statutory minimum wage has risen slightly from € 9.35 per hour to € 9.50 per hour.
CHILDREN’S BENEFITS AND CHILDREN’S SUPPLEMENTS: At the turn of the year, state support for the first and second child also increased, from 204 to 219 euros per month. The third child is now 225 instead of the previous 210 euros, the fourth child 250 instead of the previous 235 euros. The tax-exempt child allowance has been increased by more than € 500 to € 8,388. There has also been an increase in the child allowance, which is the child allowance for low-income families. The maximum amount of the child allowance has been increased from 185 to 205 euros per month.
VEHICLE TAX: Vehicle tax has been increased for new cars with high fuel consumption. This should encourage citizens to buy more fuel-efficient cars. Cars that have already been registered are not affected. According to the study, it will be on average € 15.80 more expensive per year – but nothing will change for many cars.
DISPOSABLE PLASTIC PROHIBITION: From 3 July 2021, the sale of certain disposable plastic items – namely cutlery and plates, drinking straws, cotton swabs, balloon holders, coffee sticks, as well as polystyrene cups and containers – will be an administrative offense throughout the EU. for take away.
INCOME TAX: The basic non-taxable item for all taxpayers has increased. In 2021, it will be 9744 euros instead of the previous 9408 euros. The threshold from which the highest tax rate of 42 percent is due has increased slightly to an annual income of 57,919 euros. In addition, single parents are allowed to deduct higher maintenance payments from taxes.
TAXES LIABILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: People with disabilities can claim higher lump sums in tax returns from the new year. With these lump sums, you can save time and money on individual documentation of travel costs. Specifically, for a degree of disability 50, a lump sum of EUR 1140 now applies, for a degree of 100 it is EUR 2840.
ELECTRONIC PATIENT FILES: With immediate effect, all insured persons should be offered electronic patient files for voluntary use. For example, you should be able to store findings, X-rays, and treatment plans. In terms of data protection, a somewhat “leaner” version is planned to begin with. Patients can determine which data are included and which doctor can see them. A more accurate approach, depending on the doctor, only for individual documents will not come until 2022.
BROKER COSTS: Whoever buys a property must pay a maximum of half of the broker’s costs. So far, the buyer has usually fully taken over the broker’s commission up to seven percent of the purchase price.
IDENTITY ID: With immediate effect, EUR 37.00 is payable instead of EUR 28.80 for a new identity card – at least for citizens who are at least 24 years old. You don’t need a new ID card for ten years. Younger applicants whose identification number is only valid for six years are charged EUR 22.80.
LIFE INSURANCE: Consumers should now be able to better compare life insurance. Since the turn of the year, insurance companies have had to state the so-called effective costs according to uniform criteria. This makes it easier for customers to understand how contract costs affect the payment of life insurance.
CONTRIBUTION OF THE CONTRIBUTION: In the west of statutory pension and unemployment insurance, contributions are payable up to a monthly income of € 7,100 (formerly € 6,900), in East Germany up to € 6,700 (formerly € 6,450). The assessment ceiling for statutory health and long-term care insurance has risen to the national level of EUR 4837.50 per month. So far it has been 4687.50 euros.
Employment contracts for predominantly Eastern European slaughterhouse workers are now banned. Photo: dpa
MEAT INDUSTRY: Employment contracts for predominantly Eastern European slaughterhouse workers are now banned. There should also be no temporary work on killing and slicing.
Ultrasound: Medically unnecessary “baby cinema” or “baby television”, ie ultrasound in unborn babies in the womb, is now banned. Children should be protected from unnecessary influences.
NEW ENERGY LABEL FOR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT: From 1 March 2021, new EU energy efficiency labels will apply to some electrical appliances. Classifications such as “A ++” or “A +++” are replaced by more easily distinguishable classifications from A to G in dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators and freezers, televisions and monitors. At the same time, the demands on the equipment are increasing.
CHANGE IN HEALTH INSURANCE: At the turn of the year, the change in statutory health insurance became easier. When changing, it is enough for the insured person to choose a new health insurance company and declare their membership. Written termination of previous insurance is only necessary if the insured person leaves the statutory health insurance system, ie changes to private health insurance or moves abroad.
CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS: Credit card payments on the Internet are becoming more secure, but also a bit more complicated. In the future, Visa, Mastercard and Co. will no longer be able to pay in online stores. just enter the check digit on the back of the card in addition to the credit card number. From 15 January 2021, payments of EUR 250 or more must be approved by two independent factors; from 15 February, “two-factor verification” will be effective from € 150. The rules are to be fully implemented from mid-March 2021.