fileee in everyday life

Organise documents for the tax return with fileee

Mar 7, 2018

Last week we presented a number of online tools for tax returns. Many of them make my work much easier. They guide me step by step through the tax jungle and give me valuable tips on how I can really save money. But there's one thing all these providers can't do for me: find the information I need in my documents. You can read about the best way to do this with fileee here.

fileee's role in the tax return

First of all - fileee cannot replace a programme such as smartsteuer, ELSTER or services such as the tax advisor and the income tax associations. fileee can, however, help you to store your documents in such a way that you can find them again at the decisive moment!

Full text search or tags

To have the documents for the tax return at hand, I first have to upload them or digitise them with fileee. Otherwise, the documents are scattered all over the place: email inbox, desk tray, file folders etc. With fileee, I have all the documents in one place in my account. That saves me long, annoying searches.

If I have my documents in fileee, I tag every file that could somehow be interesting for the tax return with the tag "Tax return 2017". Whether I assign further tags afterwards and which ones, will be explained in the next section.



If I can filter out the function of the document for my tax return with the full text search, I don't set a tag. I don't want to make it unnecessarily difficult for myself by having a thousand tags later. Programmes like smartsteuer already tell me exactly which expenses I can claim at which point.

Examples for full text search:

The income tax certificate: ELSTER explicitly asks for the wage tax certificate. If I search for Lohnsteuerbescheinigung with fileee, I will find my digital Lohnsteuerbescheinigung because the name is included in the document. So I don't need to set a tag.

Tax office mail: It makes a lot of sense to keep old correspondence with the authorities. Since the office is automatically recognised as the sender by fileee anyway, I don't have to create a tag for this. But also for special expenses or expenses for the children, I am told very precisely what I can submit. So I can easily search for "child benefit" and thus find the notices about the last child benefit.

Example of tags:

Parking ticket: A parking ticket can become interesting in the course of the tax return if I want to deduct income-related expenses or training costs. In this case, I can claim the costs for parking for tax purposes. Since most tax tools do not explicitly point this out to me, I should set the tag "income-related expenses" beforehand so that I can quickly find the ticket again. In this way, I can also distinguish between tickets that I have taken privately and tickets that I know directly could be relevant for my tax return.

Helpful tags

In the following I show you my most helpful tags for the tax return.

1. advertising costs

Income-related expenses are all expenses that I incur in connection with my work or when looking for a new job. All costs that are not reimbursed by the employer can be deducted.

Classic examples of income-related expenses are my new laptop, which I need for work, the costs of further training or the rent for my study because I work from home.

Why tags? It makes sense to tag my new laptop or the parking ticket I used during my training as "income-related expenses", because it is difficult to find these documents again using a specific keyword. I easily forget the parking ticket while I'm doing my tax return, even though I had kept it for that purpose. With the tag "income-related expenses", I have all the relevant documents at a glance.

2. income from letting and leasing

Income from renting and leasing includes all income that you earn from rented flats or leased land.

Why tags? For the tax return, expenses and income must be specifically assigned to a rental object. If you already organise your documents with tags for the objects when scanning and importing, it will be much easier for you afterwards. This tag is probably the most important one for me, along with income-related expenses.

Logo fileeeSpaces

Tip: If your fileeeSpaces to share your documents with your tax advisor, it is advisable to create different Spaces for each object.

3. income from capital assets

Income from capital assets, for example, involves income from cash investments.

Why tags?In this case, a lot can be done via the full text search, as fileee automatically recognises my bank and other senders. But since I don't need all the notices from my bank for the tax return at this point, I set the tag to have the right documents directly.

4. other income

Other income includes pension notices, maintenance payments, other emoluments, but also larger income from the sale of real estate or shares.

Why tags? Everything that can be found via the full-text search because it is contained in the document text (e.g. pension notice, maintenance payments, other payments) does not have to be tagged. However, if you are selling larger assets such as real estate or shares, it makes sense to tag them accordingly during the upload.


Even four simple tags are a great help when searching for documents for the tax return. In general, if you know exactly where you are going to deduct a certain item in the tax return when you scan it, set a tag. Overall, tax advisor Dieter Albrecht recommends:"It is always important to have a clear overview of the documents and that they are complete. That I can find it again and that nothing gets lost."

If, like me, you don't know exactly what you can deduct, just scan everything and use the tax tools explanation and full-text search to gather the documents later. If you want to get another suggestion on how to pre-sort your income-related expenses in more detail, take a look at this entry .

To give you an overview of which documents you can use at which point, I have listed the most important key points in this compilation.

Which tags do you use for your tax return or do you have a completely different system?

Tobias Emmerich

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