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About karin_brenig

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  • Website http://www.karin-web.com

Profile Information

  • Location Bavaria
  • Nationality Germerican
  • Hometown Munich, Germany
  • Gender Female
  • Year of birth
  1. Buying property in Germany

      on an OT sidenote, when I saw his handle, I had the biological reference pop up in my brain first, then the IT specific reference came a second later - after I checked the profile and saw his origin country.   That's when I felt a little bad/guilty/ashamed about myself: I fell for TWO clichees in one thought about a stranger's handle.   I should really stop judging people. 
  2. I believe your "joint" investment account, filled with money from your husbands "individual account" would be a headache from the IRS's perspective. If you are a US citizen, and your husband is not, any joint account would be fully your individual responsibility for taxes, FATCA, and FBAR, if any German institution even accepts you (being a US citizen) as their customer.    As far as I know, there's currently just one single Broker doing that. Lynx Broker - the other one, Smartbroker, is still trying to negotiate a way of offering this (much needed) service for US people.   German Finanzamt needs to know, that the money you (or your husband) puts into an "investment account" is "legitimately" yours and has been properly taxed. So, moving any "large" amount from one account to another (regardless of ownership/control) will prompt questions.
  3. Buying property in Germany

    also look at the tax implications of rental income (potentially not just for your German income, but also for the US part of it - if you're a US-citizen).   Renting out apartment (or house) gives you a tax advantage mainly through depreciation. Your taxable income will be lowered by a "loss" on the rental income. The effect of that is best utilized, if the purchase price of that rental property is less than approximately 3 times your annual income before taxes. For example: if you make 100,000 € per year, your rental apartment should cost less than 300,000 € to buy.   Also, if you plan on cashing in on the investment by later selling it, there are again tax consequences to consider. If you are not a US-citizen, simply hold on to the property for 10 years. After that Germany will not tax your profit from the sale. If you are a US-citizen, you want to think long and hard if you really need to sell this piece of real estate. There are capital gains, and depreciation recapture to figure in.     
  4. Pension insurance obligations (Rentenversicherung)

      these very specific personal circumstances are better discussed with a specialized professional - which I am not.   If this was me personally in your situation, I'd try to live in Germany (close to the border with the Netherlands) and work in the Netherlands. 
  5. Pension insurance obligations (Rentenversicherung)

    your "problem" has a simple explanation:   if you really applied for "DA-EU" (Daueraufenthalt EU) like you said, the rules are stated in  § 9a Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt – EU   if you don't have those 60 months paid by yourself, and want to include your spouse's Rentenversicherungsbeiträge, you could apply for "NE" (Niederlassungserlaubnis Deutschland) instead, and then there will be slightly different rules as stated in    § 9 Niederlassungserlaubnis
  6. Online German language course

    here you go https://www.udemy.com/courses/search/?src=ukw&q=German+language+courses
  7. Getting a loan and then leaving Germany

    well - a loan is a contract between you and somebody else. Usually a bank, or a person who likes to take that kind of a risk. The conditions of your loan are, of course, negotiable.    My mortgage lender didn't have a problem with me leaving the country for several years - as long as I could pay as agreed. But that was several years after I got the loan.    Getting a new loan from a bank, and then moving out of the country right away, might be not as easy. The bank will want to see how you are going to be able to pay back that loan. What is your source of income? You will most likely have to disclose the purpose of that loan - and that will be the point when most banks will say "uhm, no".
  8. A question for all you long-timers:

    when I was 19, just came back from a year in California, I thought I'd die if I couldn't live in the US. Surprisingly I survived.   When I was 29, just back from a motorcycle tour to Spain, I thought the only country where I could see myself retiring would be Spain. Looks like I'll be retiring in Germany.   When I was 49, I moved to Indiana with my husband - I thought we'd give it 5 years, so he can be there for his young daughter. Thirteen years later we reluctantly gave up our spacious home, two wonderful jobs, and a whole bunch of other "important" things, so that I can take care of my elderly parents.   I thought I could never feel OK again with crowded, expensive, overly bureaucratic Germany - and we would surely go back to the US, once my parents pass away. Now, not even two years later, we bought a house that we both love and can afford, in an area that isn't crowded at all, and we successfully navigated German bureaucracy. We'll stay (for now) whether my parents are alive, or not.   Goes to show: it doesn't matter where you live - it matters how you live, and with whom.
  9. What is the best achievement in your life?

    um? I don't know yet - I'm still alive, so I know the best is yet to come   I can list a few highlights, though: planting a tree (actually, several trees) writing a book (still adding pages to that) building a house (well, helped building one, and purchased two finished ones) having a child meeting the perfect mate (had to try a few different ones) keeping all my original body parts (with the exception of 9 teeth)
  10. Opinion: what do we expect after this covid-crisis???

      I invested in a customized "Sedus Black Dot" office chair for myself (the same model that I had been sitting on in the company office) as soon as we were all told to work from home - early in March 2020. The rest of the furniture in our home office is IKEA - but definitely not "cheap". Not having to sit in a "Großraumbüro" is probably beneficial to my health (mental and physical).
  11. here's my to-do-list: organize our (long overdue) house-warming party and invite ~30 people from ~12 different households spend a full day at Therme Erding travel to Austria over a weekend go shopping downtown Munich visit my friends/family in the USA get slightly sauced up at our Stammkneipe tell my boss that I'll work from home until I retire, maybe come to the office once a month at most - if they have a good reason (I can't think of any), and assign me a desk (I hate hot-desking)  
  12. Taxes if house is credit free

      while this is correct (no capital gains tax for this scenario in Germany), there is a (important and potentially painful) caveat for US expats:  IRS will still want to charge capital gains tax on the sale of your own primary home, even if you owned it for over ten years and lived in it for 2 out of the 5 years prior to the sale, if you made more than $250,000 (or $500,000 for married filing jointly) of a profit, despite the tax treaty with Germany - so educate yourself on the ramifications.  https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/capitalgainhomesale.asp#:~:text=You%20can%20sell%20your%20primary,allowable%20once%20every%20two%20years.   Especially in Germany, if you owned that house for a "long" time, these profit margins are easily reached.
  13. Eligibility for Covid stimulus checks

      we received our first check in 2020, sent to our home address in the US - it was an adventure to get that cashed  we still had US source earned income in 2019.    The second portion will (hopefully) be automatically deposited into our US checking account together with our 2020 tax refund within a few weeks. We use H&R software to do our annual tax return, and when we did that last weekend it asked, if we had received the first stimulus (and what amount) and then said we qualify for the second one too (even though we now only have foreign income) - and whether we'd like a check in the mail or direct deposit. Cool beans! I really hadn't counted on that.
  14. sorta unique house sale/ divorce/ tax question

      I suggest you stay a 50% owner of the rental property - report your half of the rental income on your taxes (both Germany and USA).    Or, if you really want "out", you could sell the rental portion to your wife too - and pay taxes on capital gains, and depreciation recapture, in the US - and whatever the taxes in Germany would be on that.  I avoid selling any rental property, so I don't have personal experience with that.   You owned the house since 2017 - so the "damage" may be minimal in your case.
  15. sorta unique house sale/ divorce/ tax question

    I'm not a tax advisor, or a lawyer - just a dual national German/US-citizen owning real estate in Germany and the USA. So, please verify anything I may tell you here with somebody who really knows.   Your "battleground" as far as taxes go will be more with the IRS, than with Finanzamt   Sale of your primary residence (doesn't matter where in the world it is located) has tax implications for US-citizens (and GreenCard holders, if your wife still has that or if you are filing jointly).  https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/home-ownership/tax-aspects-of-home-ownership-selling-a-home/L6tbMe3Dy#:~:text=It%20depends%20on%20how%20long,free%20amount%20doubles%20to%20%24500%2C000.   The sale of rental property (anywhere in the world) also has tax implications for US-citizens, albeit different ones. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/121415/how-prevent-tax-hit-when-selling-rental-property.asp   In Germany the sale of your primary residence is tax free. Sale of a rental property is only tax free, if you held it for over ten years.   So, from the tax point of view, I would recommend to NOT sell the rental property now, and to sell (your half) of the primary residence (without the rental apartment) at less than $250,000 profit - to your wife/ex-wife.   Make this part of your divorce "contract".   If your wife doesn't have enough money to come up with the purchase price in one lump sum, and you can afford to help her out, you could set up some kind of a payment plan.