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Posts posted by lovegermany

  1. The thing is, with teaching, you are always spending that time with the student, looking at strengths/weaknesses, reviewing work, etc. It is like coaching so not sure how you see a parallel with lawyering. It is not the same thing as giving the impression that you are going to research something and charge time specifically for the research even though no research took place. This is why value of manufactured items should go down over time - because you are not spending the same fixed costs to develop from scratch. Now, since most people don't resist unfair costs, you see many industries where people charge certain prices simply because they feel like it and so prices of goods do not do down. Does anyone really believe that each new version of a given smartphone should cost about the same as previous ones? Are the differences so radical that the new phone is truly also worth $600 or whatever? Are there radical new chipsets, new semiconductor technology? So it comes down to choice, gullibility, and personal philosophies. I choose not to pay a lawyer 250 EURO to simply tell me "Yeah, so your US-govt provided retirement pay is not taxable in Austria" because I know he already knows the answer and that it didn't take him/her an hour to figure it out. Now, if I charge someone 30 EURO a hour for a lesson, they are not paying for my already existing knowledge of whatever lesson material there is for that session - they are paying for the act of being taught and interacted with. When the Austria lawyer wanted 250 EURO, was there to be a discussion? No - it was simply his offer to give me an answer about my US govt retirement and how Austria views it from tax perspective. And it is not like a book. Many books cost the same because of overall publishing cost. So I have no problem giving money for something when  I see it makes sense. Like when I moved from Germany to Montenegro and German logistics company wanted 6000 EURO. I said no thanks and then found logistics firm in Montenegro that moved me for 2000 EURO. Some people are just quick to throw money at someone. Anyway, this is more about philosophy than anything else :-)


    About insurance and age, I am 45, and have been reading that so-called Tricare insurance (used by a lot of retirees) is accepted in Germany. But need to learn more. At least I have German driver's license so something is in place!


    Anyway, interesting thread and hope to have some useful info to provide after I meet with foreign office.




  2. I want to talk to them first because based on such a conversation it might be apparent that a path forward is clear or not clear. Lawyers are hit or miss and unless their pay is contingent on them successfully getting a client residence, their effort will likely not be very energetic. With lawyers charging 200 EURO an hour in many cases, paying 1000 EURO to a lawyer gets you not very much and a lot of what they are charging is the providing of their expertise, which because they have worked on many immigration cases means the 200 EURO/hr is partly a scam because they are using an already established knowledge base as opposed to using the 5 hours to really work your case. I think society in general believes that all lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc are equal. In actuality, it is fairly rare that I have had lawyers tell me something that wasn't already known after some basic self research.  Earlier when I was considering Austria, an experienced lawyer wanted 250 EUROS just to tell me if my US govt-provided retirement money was taxable in Austria. Some quick research pulled up the US-Austrian bilateral tax agreement and was immediately clear that my retirement pay would not be taxed in Austria (and obviously the lawyer already knew this but wanted 250 EUROs anyway). So I am not a big fan of giving money to lawyers simply because they ask for it. I too wish I could randomly just receive 250 EUROS for doing nothing. Finding a good lawyer is sort of like finding a good pitcher (talking about baseball now :-) ). It takes a lot of searching. Anyway, plot unfolds... Will post back here on any useful info I obtain.


    mfg, Brian


  3. Maybe a couple other points: I lived 5 years in Germany as active duty military, then worked in Garmisch for 2 years after recently retiring from military and had a work residence permit. I read some posts from a few years ago suggesting that in some cases military retirees obtain residency on basis of their retirement income. If that is not doable,  I also just received a music degree from Berklee College of Music and am planning to make my case at the foreign office in Garmisch that I am planning to be a private music teacher. Also have engineering and international relations degrees but don't want to work on those fields and so don't plan on making employability case based on those skills/education. Maybe if I make a good enough case (hopefully degree from school as reputable as Berklee helps along with summa cum laude honors, but just don't know how all that is viewed) they would view that as grounds for artist/self employed basis. Also, since I have youtube channel and lessons site through which I plan on earning income via online lessons maybe I could declare my online lessons as my self employed work and that I plan on hiring local developer to maintain the site, or hiring local marketing specialist to help with online marketing. Also I plan on registering on various tutor sites with German specified as a language I can teach in. So I don't think this is a weak case. In any case, I think with these sorts of things one has to get creative and work on a good narrative. Maybe a retiree who already has lived 7 years in Germany, who has C1/C2 understanding of the language, who has sufficient retirement income, and music degree is in position to sell music-related work plan to the foreign office?


  4. Hi,


    I am US citizen. My partner is Russian with 10 year old son. We have been living for past couple 3 in Montenegro and are now thinking of moving to Germany. I previously worked in Garmisch prior to moving to Montenegro, and we are specifically thinking about moving to that area.


    Just trying to figure out details that are very tough to find online. Here are some things we are trying to figure out:


    1. If I file for residence permit on basis of being retired and self sufficient, my understanding is that I will pay no German tax on my retirement income per US German bilateral tax agreement concerning US retirement income that is paid from US govt. But is there anything else I should be aware of regarding such income?

    2. Working online: Say I get residency on basis of being retired but I also wish to work online. For instance teaching music online. Would I need German permission, or could I just do such work and file US taxes (on basis of foreign earned income exclusion) and not even think about German taxes?

    3. Working in marketing for local businesses: Say we decided to try and open on online marketing business mainly targeting local clients. Would we have to go through local Arbeitsamt and register such a business, where there would be possible restrictions (such as govt saying that such work can be done by local therefore no need for a foreigner to do it)? Or maybe govt would not allow it period since I got residency on basis of self sufficiency (that is how it would be in Austria)?

    4. Social benefits: As I understand, govt pays 196 a month for a child til 18 yrs? Any other benefits to calculate?

    5. Medical: Since I have int'l insurance through US govt, and since my partner and son would also be covered (if we marry), would we not have to worry about paying for medical insurance in Germany?

    6. Related to 5 above. If we moved on basis of me being self sufficient, would that exclude us from receiving social services like schooling for the 10 year old? Just trying to understand what restrictions residence on basis of self sufficiency entails. That said, note 2 above where we actually do want to pursue work while relying on retirement income at same time.

    7. Other: I guess this is what my post was really about in first place - costs. Apart from apartment, food, services, other typical living expenses, do I need to factor anything else in (especially any mandatory govt contributions)?






  5. Ok, so been looking into the NoVA. Went here 



    and noticed this link:



    There are some examples. Such as



    a) Nettokaufpreis: 10.000 Euro (ohne Umsatzsteuer)
    Dieselmotor mit einem Ausstoß von 100 g CO2/km im Jahr 2014

    Berechnung des Steuersatzes:
    100 minus 90 = 10 dividiert durch 5 = Steuersatz 2%
    Berechnung der Steuer im Jahr 2014:
    10.000 Euro mal 2% = 200 minus 350 Euro Abzugsposten = NoVA 0 Euro
    (keine Steuergutschrift!)

    I paid little less than 10,000 and have diesel car so this seems to be good example. This suggests I would pay no NoVA :-)

    But the bigger question is how to renew the German registration so that my car is in legal status while I am figuring out the move to Vienna...


    thanks, Brian






  6. 1 hour ago, Kalifornierin said:

    Consider that if you have German plates and move to Vienna, you will still have to pay NoVA when you register in Austria.  Depending on the type of car & engine size it can be expensive, so it could be better to just sell the car and buy another in Austria after you move.


    See the section about: Imports from an EU Member State


    So Austria is not like Germany in sense that in Germany you don't have to pay import tax if you bought the car outside of Austria at least 6 months before you arrive? I was living in Tbilisi, drove a US-spec'd BMW to Germany, registered the car, and they waived the import tax because I showed customs that I bought the car at least 6 months prior to arrival in Germany. Have a different car now, but I am trying to see if Austrian customs law is similar.


  7. Hi

    I have a German registration that expires 1 May. My residence permit already expired in October. I am living in Montenegro but am planning a move to Vienna.
    Registering car in Montengro would require giving government 27% of the car's value. Not a fun proposition.
    Therefore, I am desperately trying to think of some way to keep the car German plated for another year (since I might have to wait about a year to get residence permit du to quota system there...).
    Any out of the box ideas?
    Kind regards, Brian

  8. Well, in 45 minutes I am talking to a lawyer who said I will pay no more than 260 EURO, that I pay that up front, and then all is settled for up to 260. The Mahnbescheid is 830 EURO. I agree with most people who have advised me that I could simply state that I am contesting, and moving, an that no one would likely further pursue. But I don't want to think about this anymore. I really want it out of sight and out of mind, so hopefully working with this lawyer will accomplish that. I just find it funny that AGBs carry so much weight. With important contracts - housing, etc - a signed document, possibly notarized, is required for the document to be binding. With AGBs, there is a check box on a web site and that is somehow considered rigorous enough to comprise an executed contract. Can you imagine if rental contracts, marriages, etc, etc, etc were executed on the basis of check boxes?


  9. 2 minutes ago, Conquistador said:

    I actually don't like the practice of automatic renewal, although yourkeau pointed out that it does have some advantages. My point is not, "that's the way it is, accept it", rather, you as a consenting adult agreed to the offered terms, i,.e., you promised to pay in accordance with their terms & conditions, yet now deem it inconvenient- that I find unethical given that they provided the service they agreed to give you (that you decided not to use it is irrelevant). You could have refused the terms and conditions and done business with someone else, no one forced you to do business with them.

    Right, but I am not talking about possible things I could have done given this reality. I am posing the question, why this reality? Why is reality such that all terms of the agreement are dictated by provider? Why can't I register on a site and negotiate terms? On a rental contract, both sides can arrive at agreeable conditions. Prior in Germany, rental contracts were also favorable to provider. Now a bunch of new laws make things more positive for renter. Online services are in need of legislation that limits these farcical auto renewals. I think it will happen if there is enough advocacy (like with cell roaming charges in EU, which you could also argue are always avoidable, but nonetheless are starting to be regulated). Anyway, has been an interesting chat, but definitely time for me to sleep on it.


  10. 50 minutes ago, Conquistador said:

    Yeah, sure it's "deference" and "obedience" that makes me look carefully at AGBs and make sure I understand them before I sign up for something I know I'll have to pay money for...:rolleyes:. I suppose if someone agreed to pay you money under a specific set of terms you'd like it if they decided it would be "unethical" to pay you when the time comes to do so.

    Yes, it is. It is deference and obedience when one subconsciously responds to these sorts of posts and reflexively defends the providers. But it is subconscious, therefore one does not realize the implications of the responses. Your view of ethical is entirely based on conditions determined by the provider. Again, I am talking about philosophical points about how business practices should be in the future. You are focusing on how they are now, which defeats the purpose of what I am getting at. Your point is, "This is the way it is, accept it." My point is, "Why do so many people accept it, and what would it take to change a widespread mentality that favors providers?"


  11. I am still 'lovegermany' but mostly for the landscapes. Somehow it has been accepted here that any company can do anything to raise revenue. Have you noticed on almost every major German travel website that they advertise a given airfare, then right at the moment you choose a credit card to pay, at the very last step, the price goes up 10-20%. The end price is basically the actual price (as evidenced by going to other sites that show similar fares and which charge the fare you see on their search pages), so the credit card fees are actually fictitious, designed to raise the price to the actual market price. It is not related to my situation, but it demonstrates an audacity on the part of providers, it demonstrates a tactic. They are used to having latitude to do pretty much whatever they want tactically. And whenever someone ends up in this situation, the replies are often - 'you signed up...', etc, etc. The replies don't get to the heart of the matter and they seem to - perhaps at an unconscious level reflecting people's tendency towards obedience and deference - always side with the provider. Why are online 'sign-ups' treated as some sort of magically formal act?


    Anyway, yes I will be more careful with future signups, but this post is really more philosophical than practical.


  12. Right, and courts let it happen. It is too easy for companies to unilaterally determine contract conditions regardless of any outside body regulating 'fairness'. Part of me would love to just take this to court so I can pose to the judge the question: Why should one pay $1200 over a two year period for a website that was logged into so few times that they can be counted on one hand, and still have fingers to spare? It has become farcical. How about consumers start writing AGBs, laying out the terms by which we accept rendered services? Funny how society as a whole does not think in those terms, that it is somehow sociologically accepted that a company's sense of what constitutes a contract is intrinsically 'correct'. It will require a large scale philosophical debate to change the imbalance... Maybe I will just pay the stupid fee, but this thread is about more than one person's negative experience. It is about business ethics, a disproportionate rule of law, and a void of consumer advocacy.


  13. I don't understand why legal systems view online registrations as binding contracts. Anyone can dream up AGBs. How is it possible that such imaginations lead to such easy acceptance in courts? I am about to sign a house rental contract in Montenegro. It will be signed and notarized. That to me is a contract. I am about to launch a guitar lessons site where I will offer monthly or yearly payment plan. If someone's credit card denies payment I will simply block the person's access. End of story. It is about time for online operations to reinvent themselves with some sense of business ethics and for courts to stop attributing so much weight to website 'contracts'.


  14. Here is the advice I have received:


    "Sie sollten einen Rechtsanwalt erst beauftragen, wenn eine Klagebegründung auf dem Tisch liegt - nicht vorher! 
    Ich würde dem Mahnbescheid vollumfänglich widersprechen und den Widerspruch per Einschreiben an das Mahngericht zurückschicken.Unbedingt rechtzeitig beim Einwohnermeldeamt abmelden und den Namen vom Klingel- und Briefkastenschild entfernen.Ersatzweise würde ich dem Inkassobüro nachweislich und schriftlich die neue Postanschrift im Ausland mitteilen (aber erst wenn der Umzug stattfindet); zusätzlich würde ich die Forderung bestreiten.Damit sichern sie sich z.T. gegen Schufaeinträge und eine öffentliche Zustellung der Klage.

    Ein Gerichtsverfahren kann ohne Zustellung der Klagebegründung nicht rechtsanhängig werden, d.h. i.d.R. müsste sie Parship dann im Nicht-EU Ausland am Wohnort verklagen. Das ist eher unwahrscheinlich.

    Kann Parship einen Vertragsschluss zwischen Ihnen und Parship gerichtsfest nachweisen?

    Gab es zwischen Parship/Inkasso und Ihnen irgendwelche schriftliche Kommunikation?

    Es ist nicht unüblich, dass Inkassobüros blöffen und dem Schuldner mit einem Mahnbescheid unter Druck setzen (obwohl die nie vorhaben zu klagen). Darauf sollte man nicht reinfallen. Ich würde dem Inkasso per Einschreiben sagen:

    1. Die Forderung wird bestritten.

    2. Eine Weitergabe der Daten an Auskunfteien wird untersagt.

    3. Die neue Postanschrift lautet xxxxx

    4. An der alten Postanschrift wohnt man nicht mehr."



  15. I received a Mahnbescheid from the website Parship. When I signed up, I didn't read fine print, which says yearly fee automatically is applied. I paid the first year begrudgingly as I never used the site (when I signed up, I just thought it was a one month thing...). Then a year later I get an email saying they could not bill the second year. I just ignored the email. Told them to cancel my account because I never use their site. Then they sent the info to a debitor and now the Mahnbescheid. On a German site dedicated to these sorts of things, a lawyer said I should reply that I am fully contesting the case, on the basis of the legality of Parship's contract, that in all liklihood nothing further will come about. I am leaving Germany in two weeks, moving to a non-EU country. Really not sure what to do about this and wanted to see what people here thought. Ideas?






  16. Hi,


    I am about to move from Germany to Montenegro. Most people tell me to avoid registering my car in Montenegro, as I would pay VAT on the book value of my car, which would be several thousand EUROs. So I am trying to figure out if I could enter Montenegro with German plates. My yearly car tax here is 430 EURO. Plus that silly radio tax in Bavaria which is 250 EURO a year or something. So I am really not very interested in staying registered in my town. The question is, can I unregister, and simply drive to Montenegro?


    I would love to hear creative ideas on how to get my car into Montenegro...




  17. Hi,


    I have a US BMW that I imported customs duty free. And I also converted it to German spec and the car is now German plated. But now I am moving from Germany and am thinking of selling my car. I have several questions:


    1) Since the Germany waived the customs duties, would that preclude me from selling the car in the first place?

    2) If I sold it, would buyer pay tax?

    3) Can anyone recommend how I can get rid of my car and not pay anything?




  18. Hi,

    I am planning to move to Croatia or Montenegro. Haven't decided on the location yet. But I am trying to figure out logistics. Any tips on how one would go about such a move, especially on how to save money doing it? I have most of the packing materials already, so I could have things pre-packed to save money. Just looking for advice in general.