07-19-2021

Heuking advises state-owned software development unit DigitalService4Germany on the creation of a digital tax return for retirees




DigitalService4Germany GmbH (“DigitalService4Germany”), a state-owned software development company, has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Finance to develop the web-based “Steuerlotse” [“Tax Guide”] application that allows retirees to easily file their tax returns.

A team led by Dr. Martin Schellenberg and Marc Philip Greitens, Lawyers at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, advised DigitalService4Germany particularly on drafting an innovative software contract that reflects the agile approach to the (continued) development of “Steuerlotse” and on drafting the Terms of Use for the “Steuerlotse” application.

The project is supposed to facilitate it for individuals who are entitled to retirement benefits to meet their tax obligations and to simplify the digital submission of their tax returns. “Steuerlotse” for retirement benefits, which has been active since May 31, 2021, meets these challenges: thanks to intuitive step-by-step instructions and a clearly structured, user-friendly design, the software is set up for use without prior knowledge. The application is available free of charge and is accessed directly in the browser.

The open source approach is a distinctive feature of this public sector project: Both the documentation on the detailed procedure and on the project team’s results as well as a working prototype and the software code are publicly available.

Counsel to DigitalService4Germany
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:

Dr. Martin Schellenberg (Lead),
Marc Philip Greitens, B.A., LL.B. (both Public Procurement/IT),
Jonas Benedikt Böhme (Research Associate), all Hamburg

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