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Everything that changes in Germany in July 2019

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Everything that changes in Germany in July 2019
Photo: DPA
16:46 CEST+02:00
From taxes to 'Kindergeld', there are a lot of important changes coming to Germany as June becomes July on Monday.

Kindergeld increasing

We have some good news for all parents in Germany: the amount of ‘Kindergeld'- or child support payments - is going up by 10 per month, and applies to all underage children living at home.

For the first and second child, parents will receive 204 a month, up from the previous 194.

For the third child, parents will receive 210, up from 200. And for the fourth and each additional child, parents will get 235, up from 225.

Starting in January 2021, this amount will go up by a further 15 euros.

Midijobbers rejoice

Starting July 1st, all so-called midijobbers (or employees who regularly earn more than 450) can look forward to less social security contributions. 

So far, a midijobber has been considered to be an employee who earns between 450 and 850 per month. Now this limit is rising from 850 to 1300 euros gross per month. This is particularly important because now only the reduced social security contributions have to be paid up to the higher amount.

And yet more good news for midijobbers: as of July, they will no longer receive reduced pension benefits despite the reduced pension contributions. As a result, employees no longer have to top up from their own resources.

Through the scheme, the government aims to make midi-jobs more attractive and increase the number of such jobs.

Photo: DPA

More tax filing time

If you're worried that you missed the tax filing deadline in Germany - which was May 31st until this year, you can take a deep breath (at least for another month). Now the deadline for filing German taxes has been pushed to July 30th for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Those who use the help of a Steuerberater, or tax advisor, have until February 28th the following year to file. 

SEE ALSO: The ultimate guide to filing taxes in Germany

Pensions going up

According to the Federal Statistical Office's data on wage developments, pensions will rise significantly starting on July 1st. In east Germany, the pension increase will be 3.91 percent, and in west Germany by 3.18 percent. Thus the pension value of the east will be reaching a full 96.5 percent of the value in west Germany.

SEE ALSO: How to maximize your German pension - even if you plan to retire elsewhere

Postage increases

Starting July 1st, postage prices for letters and postcards will go up in Germany: a standard letter sent by the Deutsche Post will cost 80 cents, whilst the price of a domestic postcard will rise to 60 cents. 

Likewise the compact letter (Kompaktbrief), the large letter (Großbrief) and the so-called Maxibrief (or the largest size) will be ten cents more expensive. Postage for a postcard will even increase by 15 cents - the price was 45 cents for more than 15 years. 

There will be supplementary stamps worth five, ten, 15 and 20 cents for stamps below the new value that have not been used. It will therefore not be necessary to exchange old stamps.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about sending mail in Germany

Photo: DPA

Changes in the books

Sending books and goods will be easier and more expensive from July 2019 onwards

Starting July 1st, the number of book shipping categories will be reduced: one up to 500 grams and up to one kilogram. Only five centimetres in height are allowed (35 x 25 x 5 centimetres).

Consignments of books and goods up to 500 grams will cost 1.90. Shipments of books and goods up to one kilogram will cost 2.20.

While the prices themselves have not been increased, customers will have to buy the more expensive DHL parcels for thicker shipments, as the maximum permitted height has been reduced from 15 to five centimetres.

New job opportunities in Berlin

Starting in July, the city of Berlin is testing a new employment programme. Dubbed “das solidarische Grundeinkommen” (solidarity basic income), the programme aims to find employment for the unemployed in understaffed public sectors such as mobility assistants or caretakers.

Anyone who has been unemployed for a year but has no chance of finding a job in labour market in the foreseeable future will be able to participate.

Cash back in Bavaria

For a Bavaria-specific change, landowners in the southern state can apply for partial reimbursement for road construction contributions paid between 2014 and 2017.

In order to receive the repayment, however, the applicants must prove that they have suffered an unreasonable financial disadvantage as a result of the payment of the contributions. A deductible of 2000 and an upper income limit of 100,000 apply to the applications - or double the amount for life partners or married couples.

Property owners must submit the application by the end of the year either online or in writing to the office of the Hardship Commission (Härtefallkommission).

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