I am not self employed but registered as living in Germanland, I also pay German tax at an attrocially high rate (I am Steuer class 5 because my wife earns more than me and she pays class 3 so if we combined our incomes it would be collectively less tax to be paid). I have never freely done any Tax returns, BUT I do get a timely reminder every year that me as head of the household have a certain amount of time to submit the combined Tax returns of both myself and my wife, or I will receive a fine and still have to send them a tax return.My Army pention is payed into the local Sparkasse since 2009 when I finished my service Here in Germany.
I then immediately started working for NAAFI which was a tax free income. Since last year I am unemployed but doing a 2 year training package in Germany.
So far I have paid zero tax in Germany but on my bank statements it just states that it’s law to declare any income over 12000 euros a year to the tax man.
what I am aware of is as soon as I do start a regular job the tax man will add my pention together with my income and adjust the tax code accordingly.
i am also aware that you are not obliged to fill in a tax return unless you are. Self employed but as soon as you fill one in on e you must carry on filling them out every year.