Identity verification via online banking for filing the German tax return with WISO Steuer

finAPI GiroIdent: Online identification that's so secure, even German tax authorities accept it!

More and more people in Germany are completing their tax returns online. Since German tax law is particularly complicated, people tend to use tax software like the market leader WISO Steuer to fill out the forms. Using the clever app from our partner Buhl Data Service GmbH reduces the effort to a minimum. It also provides valuable tips on how to save taxes. WISO Steuer also makes it particularly easy to file your tax return – completely online, without paper. The only requirement is that the user provides Buhl with a one-time proof of identity.

Thanks to the new cooperation between finAPI and Buhl, this identification is now possible securely and with just a few clicks via online banking with finAPI GiroIdent. And since finAPI supports over 99 percent of all German banks, this option is available to practically every customer with online banking access.

Online tax returns are more and more popular

Until now, the tax office allowed the submission of the return in three ways: in paper form, digitally with an electronic signature, or as a combination of digital transmission and signed printout. This third option will be discontinued as of the 2021 tax year. This means that you can now only submit the tax return completely in paper form or completely online. We recommend completing your tax return directly online using tax software like WISO.

Taxpayers must identify themselves to file their tax returns electronically

The standard process with the German online tax office ELSTER involves obtaining a digital signature and this multi-stage procedure is complex. Activating the certificate takes several days, as an activation code is first sent by post. And as the certificate’s validity is limited it must be renewed regularly.

Faster, easier and secure: online banking users can identify themselves comfortably with finAPI GiroIdent

WISO Steuer users benefit from a simpler solution. If desired, Buhl can send the tax return with its own ELSTER certificate. To do this, the user has to authorize Buhl to submit the return and identify him or herself once. Using finAPI GiroIdent, this can be done in seconds via the user’s bank account. To do this, the user logs into his or her online banking on a secure finAPI page. finAPI matches the user’s personal data with the name, date of birth and address of the account holder. If the data matches, identification takes place directly and digital submission to the tax office via ELSTER is permanently enabled in WISO Steuer.

"With finAPI GiroIdent it is now even easier for our customers to complete their digital tax return with WISO Steuer. Virtually every customer who uses online banking can identify themselves with finAPI. We added finAPI GiroIdent to the WISO Steuer browser application in February. The procedure has been very well received by our customers and works reliably. In the next step, we will also integrate finAPI GiroIdent into other WISO Steuer applications."
Peter Schmitz
Managing Director of the Tax Department at Buhl
"We are proud to bring WISO users a new, convenient and secure method of identification via online banking with finAPI GiroIdent, and look forward to a successful collaboration and strong partnership with Buhl."
Dr. Florian Haagen
CEO und Co-Founder offinAPI

About Buhl

Buhl Data Service, based in Neunkirchen in the West of Germany, develops and markets innovative apps and services for browsers, smartphones, tablets, PCs, and Macs. The privately-owned and managed company is Germany’s largest independent software developer with over 500 employees.

With its award-winning WISO tax software, Buhl is the market and innovation leader for digital tax return solutions in Germany. Every year, several million tax returns are filed to the tax office using Buhl’s software.

Do you have questions about identification with finAPI GiroIdent?

With finAPI GiroIdent you can identify customers and business partners easily, quickly and securely via their bank accounts. The selection of the appropriate product depends on the particular use case of your company. It is possible to check the name, age, address, or even carry out a complete KYC check in accordance with the European anti-money laundering laws. You can find more information about the different finAPI GiroIdent products for identification on our product pages. 

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