I would be interested in the meaning of the following deadline (Frist) for submitting documents to a German Agency (Amt).

The wording in the letter is the following:

"Senden Sie uns bis spätestens zum 01.03.2021 eine Kopie der Unterlagen mit Ihrer Unterschrift zu".

Does it mean that I can submit the documents until end of the business day by email? Or do they need the documents the day before. Does "bis spätestens zum" in German language imply that the day is included or excluded? I always struggle but I tend to would say it should include per se the day mentioned.

  • 5
    Sounds like a legal question to me.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 18:33
  • 6
    It's BTW very unlikely that you can submit official documents to public administration via eMail.
    – tofro
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 19:24
  • 4
    I voted to close because this - although it involves knowledge and understanding of the German language - is more a question on law than on language. I fear that this forum might be unable to provide legally safe answers. So I would feel safer with a legal disclaimer on any answer here.
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 20:05
  • 4
    Note 1.3.2021 is March 1st, not Jan. 3rd.
    – RDBury
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 21:43
  • 2
    I don't think you can submit by email at all. In my experience, you have to provide them original documents if they require a signature. The day is definitely included and if you put it into their mail box yourself, you can do that anytime at that day. The Finanzamt often has a device connected to the mail box that ensures they can register at which date the documents were received. I have submitted documents without issues on New Year's Eve (when the agency is closed).
    – user6495
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


"Bis spätestens" includes the day (end of the business day). Deadlines before the given date are usually worded like "vor dem".

Also note that "eine Kopie der Unterlagen mit Ihrer Unterschrift" means a physical copie that was signed seperately (first make a copy, than sign the copy). The signature must be original - additional to any signatures on the original document(s) that get copied.

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