Service | Bonn · There are a few changes for consumers in October: These will affect WhatsApp users, rail customers and recipients of the heating cost subsidy, amongst others. Here are the important deadlines you should not miss.
Your tax returns for 2022 are due in October. The official deadline is actually 30 September 2023 - but that's a Saturday. This means that you must submit your tax returns to the tax office on the next working day, 2 October 2023 at the latest. This deadline applies to people who do their tax returns themselves. If you use a professional Steuerberater (tax advisor), the deadline is 31 July 2024.
No more WhatsApp on old smartphones
Users of older Android smartphones should check their operating system. As of 24 October, the messenger service WhatsApp will only run on mobile phones with an Android operating system of version 5.0 and newer. According to WhatsApp, users will be notified in good time. Currently, devices with Android version 4.1 or higher are still supported.
Autumn holidays in NRW and Rhineland-Palatinate
This year's autumn holidays begin in North Rhine-Westphalia on 2 October. They end on 14 October. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the autumn holidays run from 16 to 27 October.
Deadline for heating allowance ends
In October, the application period for the hardship fund for a heating cost subsidy (Heizkostenzuschuss) for heating with liquid gas, oil, wood pellets or other so-called non-conducted fuels expires. Applications can still be submitted until 20 October. A maximum relief of 2000 euros per household is possible.
Changes in rail Spartickets
As of 1 October, even at the ticket counter, Sparpreis tickets can only be purchased if travellers give their contact details to Deutsche Bahn. If you buy a Sparpreis ticket at the ticket office from October onwards, you will only receive it digitally. Printouts on paper will only be available upon explicit request.
Higher interest rates for student loans
Students who finance their studies with a student loan will have to expect higher interest rates from October. In April 2023, interest rates had risen to 7.55 per cent, and from October this is expected to be more than eight per cent.
Lidl changes beef product range
Between October 2023 and spring 2024, the discounter Lidl will convert its entire fixed-list range of fresh beef to at least level 3 of the four-level husbandry form labelling. Beef products of husbandry forms 1 and 2 will gradually no longer be available.