The EEG levy is no longer applicable, the first deadline for exchanging a driver's license expires, Hartz IV sanctions are suspended, tax returns are not yet due and the free citizen tests are abolished. This and other things await you in the new month.
EEG levy is eliminated
The EEG surcharge fell to 3.72 cents per kWh (net) on January 1st. Now, after 20 years, it will be abolished entirely - for a limited period until December 31, 2022, in order to relieve households of the increased electricity costs or to dampen the sharp increase somewhat and ensure more stable electricity prices.
First deadline for driver's license exchange expires
Although the introduction of the new EU driving license should not be completed until 2033, older drivers already have to hurry with the exchange. The first deadline ends on July 19, 2022. This means that holders of old driving licenses who were born between 1953 and 1958 only have a good two weeks left.
The mandatory exchange runs according to the year of birth. The old driver's license (pink or gray paper driver's license or unlimited card driver's license) can be exchanged by submitting a written application. The driving license authority of the current place of residence is responsible. In contrast to the previous ones, the new EU driving license is no longer valid indefinitely. After 15 years, the issued document must be renewed. The new driver's license will then be issued again without a test or health check.
To exchange the old document, driving license holders need a new biometric passport photo, a valid identity card or passport and, of course, the old driving license. Depending on the region, the costs are between 25 and 40 euros. If the targeted exchange period is missed, there is a risk of a fine of 10 euros.
The deadlines at a glance
After that, there are deadlines for card driving licenses issued from January 1, 1999. This exchange should take place according to the age of the documents, the issue date is decisive:
Vaping is getting more expensive
From July 1st, substances for e-cigarettes will also be subject to tobacco tax for the first time. Regardless of whether the liquids contain nicotine or not. For a ten milliliter liquid, which currently costs around five euros, an additional 1.60 euros in taxes should be incurred. In addition, tobacco for hookahs is subject to an additional tax and is thus fiscally equivalent to filter cigarettes.
Property tax allowance is increased
In 2022, the basic tax-free allowance increased from 9,984 euros to 10,347 euros retrospectively to January. Since the lump sum was last raised in 2011, according to the German Economic Institute (IW), an increase was overdue. These planned changes will save around 190 euros in 2022 for a single-earner family with two children and a gross income of 50,000 euros. If both parents work, it is around 242 euros due to the double employee allowance, the IW calculates. Calculated for the year as a whole, mind you.
The taxpayers' association assumes that employers will pay back the overpaid wage tax by July at the latest. This is happening retrospectively up to and including January 1, 2022. All taxpayers, employees and pensioners will benefit from the change, provided they pay income tax.
Hartz IV sanctions are suspended
Recipients of unemployment benefit II (Hartz IV) can blow through from July 1st until mid-2023. Until then, they will have fewer sanctions to fear. If, for example, reasonable work is not accepted, the people concerned do not have to fear a reduction in benefits of 30 percent. The situation is different in the case of repeated failure to register or missed deadlines. There is still a risk of reductions of up to 10 percent of the standard rate.
Child bonus is paid out
A children's bonus of 100 euros per child is also included as part of the relief packages for citizens decided by the federal government. In addition to other measures, this should help families to cushion the sharp rise in energy and fuel prices. This will be paid in July. The money should be transferred in the form of a one-time payment via the family coffers, usually not together with the child benefit. According to RTL, the payment will be made a few days after the regular child benefit payment in July. When the child bonus is then in the account depends on the last digit of the child benefit number:
Free corona citizen tests will be abolished
The free quick tests for everyone will be abolished in the new month. They are then only available for free for certain risk groups. As there would be: children up to five years, women at the beginning of pregnancy, visitors to clinics and nursing homes, household members of infected people. For everyone else, three euros per test will have to be shelled out from July.
Minimum wage is increased
The minimum wage increases in the new month. This will then increase from the previous EUR 9.82 to EUR 10.45. In October it should then rise to 12 euros.
Rent index for cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will be mandatory
With the Rent Index Reform Act, which comes into force on July 1, the rent index will become mandatory for cities with 50,000 or more inhabitants. Landlords and tenants alike are obliged by the Rent Index Ordinance to provide information. A distinction is still made between simple and qualified rent indexes: The simple rent index is an overview of the usual fees in the municipality or in a comparable municipality, insofar as the overview is jointly created or recognized by the municipality or by representatives of the landlords and tenants has been. In addition, it must be documented how the figures came about.
The qualified rent index, on the other hand, must be based on a representative sample and stand up to recognized scientific principles. In the future, tenants and landlords will be obliged to provide information on the size of the apartment, the rent and other data relevant to the apartment if they were selected at random from a random sample. If you don't answer completely and correctly, you risk a fine of up to 5,000 euros. The qualified rent index is updated every two years and recreated every four years.
The rental parties have until January 1, 2023 for a simple rent index, for a qualified rent index the transitional period runs until January 1, 2024.
New cancellation button
If consumers conclude a fixed-term contract via a website after July 1, 2022, they must then also be given the opportunity to terminate it by clicking on the cancellation button. This should allow corresponding contracts to be terminated more quickly and easily in the future.
Parcels with DHL are becoming more expensive
The parcel service provider DHL is increasing a number of parcel prices for the new month. Among other things, the price advantage for parcel and parcel brands purchased online is no longer available when shipping within Germany. A size S DHL parcel will then cost 3.99 euros instead of 3.79 euros. At EUR 4.79, the M-packet is 40 cents more expensive than the previous online price. The 5 kg package, on the other hand, will be cheaper: from July 1, the retail price will be just EUR 6.99 instead of EUR 7.49.
Deposit on almost all non-returnable bottles - transitional regulation ends
The first stage of the so-called "extended compulsory deposit for one-way beverage containers" came into effect on January 1, 2022. This has consequences for consumers when shopping, because they have to pay 25 cents in advance for even more drinks. The reason: Additional deposit fees are due for many products. All disposable plastic beverage bottles and cans are affected.
This also applies to smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, energy drinks, coffee drinks and alcoholic mixed drinks as well as sparkling wine, wine and cider with a filling volume of 0.1 to 3.0 liters. If these are sold in disposable bottles or cans. If the beverage containers are returned to retailers, the deposit will be refunded in full. Beverage packaging that is already on the market can still be sold without a deposit until July 1st.
Higher garnishment exemption limits
From July 1st, new garnishment exemption limits will apply to net income. The federal government increases the amounts of the so-called garnishment table. Accordingly, an amount of up to 1339.99 euros per month cannot be attached. So far, the limit was 1259.99 euros. For people with maintenance obligations, a new allowance also applies from that date: This increases by EUR 110 for the first person entitled to maintenance from EUR 1729.99 to EUR 1839.99. The allowance increases by EUR 278.90 for each additional person entitled to maintenance.
School holidays are in full swing
The children and young people in North Rhine-Westphalia have been on summer vacation since June 24th. All others will follow in the new month. The summer holidays in Berlin begin on July 7th. Bavaria is the last federal state to start on July 29th (last day of school). By August 9th, all students in Germany will be on vacation.
Tax return is not yet due
Normally, taxpayers who are required to do so would have to file the tax return by July 31, 2022 at the latest. At least if it is created alone. Due to the corona pandemic, the deadline has been postponed by three months. The new deadline for submitting the 2021 tax return is October 31, 2022. A longer period also applies if a tax consultant or an income tax assistance association is helping. The deadline is then August 31, 2023. Anyone who submits their tax return voluntarily must send it to the tax office for 2018 by December 31, 2022 at the latest.
Pensions increase significantly
Pensions will increase by 5.35 percent in western Germany and 6.12 percent in eastern Germany from July 1st. This increases a monthly pension of 1000 euros, which is only based on West contributions, by 53.50 euros; an equally high pension with east contributions increases by 61.20 euros. This results in an increase in the central pension value in the calculation in the west from the current 34.19 to 36.02 euros and in the east from the current 33.47 to 35.52 euros. The pension value is decisive for the calculation of the pension. As a result, more pensioners are then obliged to submit a tax return.
return of electronic devices
Depending on the size of the store and the product range, discounters and supermarkets must accept old electronic devices such as electric toothbrushes, pocket calculators, razors or mobile phones from July 1st. Even if they were purchased from another store. Provided that the shop area is larger than 800 square meters and the shops themselves sell corresponding products several times a year. Larger electrical devices such as televisions can only be handed in there if a new device is also purchased.
When selling heat exchangers, screens and monitors as well as electronic devices with external dimensions of more than 50 centimetres, online retailers must also take back and recycle old devices free of charge and without any fuss. In addition, this return option must also be available for all electrical devices that are not larger than 25 centimeters in any external dimension, regardless of the purchase of a new device.
(This article was first published on Thursday, June 30, 2022.)