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About Straightpoop

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  • Nationality USA
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  • Year of birth 1949

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  1. Will Germany tax my money when I move to another EU country?

      That is an understatement.
  2. Will Germany tax my money when I move to another EU country?

      It did not.   You are probably referring to Germany's new method of taxing unrealized gains in different types of mutual fund and similar entities that do not pay tax at the entity level in effect since 31.12.2018.   Even here, however, there is no "assumed" gain.  The gain, if any, is based on end of year market value and the taxable portion - if any - is computed differently each year depending on an established "base rate" and the individual character of the fund/entity itself, e.g. predominantly equity, predominantly bonds, predominantly real estate. The paid tax - if any - resulting from these annual mark-to-market computations function as a credit against any remaining tax owed - if any - upon ultimate disposal at a gain.  Essentially, the idea is to put all funds - regardless of nationality - that reinvest internally on more or less the same tax footing as those that distribute in cash by reducing the advantages of tax deferral.   Funds/entities held in German brokerages "enjoy" the benefit of having the bank do all the computations whereas if held in a foreign brokerage the computations are the same but it's DIY.        
  3. What is a "Straffreiheitsbescheinigung"?

    I think "impunity certificate" is not a good translation of "Straffreiheitsbescheinigung".   If you need to obtain such a document from an English speaking country you might encounter a lot of head scratching in response to inquiries about an "impunity certificate". (Even Donald Trump would have a hard time getting one of those now that he - and AG Barr - are out of office.)   The following Merkblatt from the Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf suggests a [negative] "criminal background check" or "police certificate",  the foreign equivalent of a "Führungszeugnis".   You might have a clean rap sheet because you're immune from criminal sanction and can thus commit crimes with impunity but that don't mean you're pure as the driven snow - only that the police can't lay a hand on you. This would apply to no one of my acquaintance with the possible exception of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. not my idea of a low maintenance employee.      
  4. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      You've got it exactly right.   NB:  If and when you take distributions subject to German tax be sure you have records to support your IRA contributions in the event the FA challenges your numbers.  
  5. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      Not quite.  The original "character" of the increase in value within the IRA is "erased" on distribution and becomes taxable under the Abgeltungsteuer as a generic "Kapitalertrag" in Germany or as a "pension distribution" in the US.  Under the treaty, both countries characterize the distribution as a "pension".   Your basis in either a traditional IRA or a Roth is the sum total of all your contributions, pre-tax or post-tax respectively. Like the distribution itself, basis has no "character" attributable to the manner in which it was used to generate value within the IRA.   The German system of computing the taxable portion of each distribution is very similar to the US system that applies when you have made non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA.  The portion of the distribution that is recovered tax-free is expressed as the ratio of all contributions (adjusted for previous recoveries through distributions) divided by the total market value of the IRA at the time of distribution.  (In the US the denominator is fixed as of 31.12 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year of distribution. In my inexpert understanding, in Germany the denominator "floats", i.e. it is determined as of the date of each distribution within a calendar year.)   Caveat:  the German Tax authorities have taken the position that a pre-tax contribution to a traditional IRA should not be allowed to escape German taxation when distributed if the contribution "woulda, coulda, shoulda" have enjoyed German tax deferral if made during a period of hypothetical German tax residence after 2008. The Tax Court rejected this position - correctly in my view - but the Finanzamt has appealed.   Now go get some popcorn and a beer and enjoy the game.          
  6. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      Nope.  You're stuck in traffic about 25 miles out.   Reread the thread.   Carefully.  
  7. Birth Certificate for Child

    Engelchen is - sadly - correct:    
  8. Will Germany tax my money when I move to another EU country?

      Indeed. The sources of information available to the tax authorities of any country needed to perform the task set them by legislatures (or potentates) are frequently slim to non-existent.   Beginning with the computer age in the 1960's the US embarked on - or rather stumbled into - developing a system of total 3d party reporting of all tax-relevant financial information of its taxpayers. That system has been constantly expanding - with fits and starts - at the US national level ever since.   With the introduction of FATCA in 2010 the US has attempted to expand that system of "total tax knowledge" to every country on the planet.   The US system, both nationally and internationally, still has vast, gaping holes but with the advent of huge computing and data storage capacities, those holes are now starting to close; slowly but steadily.   The US information reporting system and FATCA was an inspiration to the rest of the world's tax authorities. The OECD's Common Reporting Standard and Germany's newly introduced TIN and ELSTER are examples at the international and national level, respectively, of the worldwide trend.    In the private sphere, Amazon, Google, Facebook & Co. have demonstrated the modern technological capabilities of "big data" collection and analysis.   The only real barrier now is the legislative will at the national level to apply that modern technological capacity to tax collection worldwide.   The real barrier to implementing such a "perfect" system will ultimately be a philosphical/political one caused by a salient fact of modern income tax systems:  tax liability is impossible to determine based on financial information alone; personal relationships and personal data are key determinants without which tax liability cannot be accurately determined. Thus, to know all "tax relevant" data is to know very nearly everything about the individual. With the power to know everything comes the power to control everything; the very definition of totalitarianism.   Only democracies will continue to tolerate the possibility of tax evasion.      
  9. Will Germany tax my money when I move to another EU country?

      Yep.   See:   and:    
  10. Will Germany tax my money when I move to another EU country?

  11. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      Sorry.  Wrong link.  Try this one:
  12. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      Shouldn't be.  If WMB's prognosis is correct (see: ) some or all of its distributions in 2020 and 2021 will represent a non-taxable return of capital, AKA "non-dividend distribution".  It should show up on your 1042-S as a Code 37 "non-dividend distribution" and will show exemption Code 21.  
  13. Living in Germany with US Retirement Accounts, 401K, IRA, Roth

      PAGP is a partnership. WMB is a corporation.  Hence, money distributed to you by PAGP is regarded as "tax-free" because it represents either a portion of your capital contribution to the partnership or the partnership's previously taxed profits.  Your taxable income from PAGP is shown on the annual K-1 you receive.  Amounts in Line 1 of that K-1 reflect that year's ordinary operating income (or loss) which is (usually) considered "effectively connected trade or business income" and is subject to withholding under IRC § 1446 at the maximum individual ordinary income tax rate.  Amounts so withheld are reported to you on a Form 8805.  Since this income is subject to progressive rates of tax, if the max rate is withheld you would have to file a Form 1040NR every year to obtain a refund of the excess.   If the partnership had other forms of income, e.g. interest, dividends, gains, etc.  these too will be allocated to you on the K-1 and independently subject to withholding depending on their character. Withholding is reported (mostly) on Form 1042-S or, as in the case of §1231 gains on a Form 8805.   Your annual K-1 will typically show the effect of all the various comings and goings for the year on your "capital account".  Should you sell the partnership interest, that "capital account" will be your adjusted tax basis for computing gain or loss. Because of a 2017 tax law change, the gross proceeds from such sale will be subject to a 10% withholding tax because gain from the sale of a US partnership interest is now considered "effectively connected" US source trade or business income.   Please note:  all of the above assumes that "you" are a Nonresident alien.  The rules are vastly different if you are a US citizen or resident.    
  14. Self employment and capital gain tax in Germany

     I recommend you read the following and then consult a qualified German Steuerberater: