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About thomash2

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  • Location Germany
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown USA
  • Gender Male
  1. Owing self-employment tax to the U.S.

    If you don't live in Hamburg, then I wouldn't send it to Hamburg, because Hamburg probably only deals with people who live in the northwest.  I assume that Berlin is the central office, and I used to get the certificate issued from there.  But last year it was issued from the city that I live in, and the letter had a fax number to the local office.  So I simply faxed the request to that number, along with a copy of an old certificate, and they sent me the new year's certificate from that same office that I faxed to, after a couple of weeks.  The old certificate had an insurance client number, which I didn't include in my past letters.  But this year I included the number with question marks around it, and the copy of the old certificate that I included had the number anyway.  Perhaps the client number helps to expedite the request.   It doesn't hurt to send another request again.  If you have an old certificate, you can check the fax number on it and decide if you want to fax instead of posting it.
  2. Tax return for non-Kleinunternehmer self-employed

    You also have to submit a monthly, quarterly, or annual Zusammenfassende Meldung. I don't remember what determines the filing intervals. But in the past when I only had to do an annual VAT report, I also did an annual ZM. When I had to do a quarterly VAT report, I also did a quarterly ZM. The deadline for ZM is slightly different from the deadline for VAT report. But I usually do it at the same time. The ZM is usually a list of your intra-community B2B sales with zero VAT. It has boxes for sales amount, customer VAT ID, and an option to indicate if it was a delivery or a service.
  3. Tax return for non-Kleinunternehmer self-employed

    Reverse charge is one of those things you really need to understand before doing B2B cross border sales. You should probably do more research before you continue. Some of the city handelskammer websites have good information, but if you're not sure, you should ask for professional help. I am not a professional, so do not take my opinions as fact.   You need a VAT ID for your business. The one that starts with DE, and it has to be on your invoice. Not simply a German tax number.   A B2B customer can ask you for zero VAT on a sale, but it's up to you to determine if they're qualified to receive it. You have to verify that their VAT ID is valid, by checking it on the official German verification website against the customers address, and (very important) you have to request a copy of the verification by pressing the button at the bottom of the page (after verification) and they will send you a paper by post which you have to keep for your records. It will say A, A, A, A, A if it's correct. If you can't verify the ID, then don't sell for zero VAT, or else you become liable for paying the VAT if you're caught not collecting VAT.   There is a difference between intra-community delivery and intra-community services. The difference is very important for B2C sales, especially electronic services because of the MOSS mini one stop shop for charging and paying VAT to the country in which the customer resides. Similarly, if you pass the minimum threshold for sales to a single country, even if it's not electronic services, you have to start charging the VAT rate of that country and send the VAT to that country's tax office.   However, assuming that you don't sell B2C to other EU countries, and you only sell B2B to other EU countries, then you can use the reverse charge procedure without having to worry about MOSS or the minimum threshold for sales to other countries, as those rules usually apply to B2C.   So after you have your VAT ID, verified your customer's VAT ID and address, you could possibly invoice with zero VAT. Assuming everything else about your invoice is correct, you also have to add a certain text to the invoice to indicate reverse charge. I've seen some sites that say you have to quote the actual tax code, while other sites say you only need to write intra-community reverse charge delivery or intra-community reverse charge services. (Edit: you also have to write your VAT ID, and the customer's VAT ID on the invoice.) Then if you are sending a physical product, you have to ship it only to the address that you used to verify the VAT ID. I've been told by a couple of accountants to not ship to an alternate address, because you won't be able to prove that the zero VAT sales was delivered to the intended company for business use. So if a customer demands zero VAT and shipping to a different address, I simply don't sell it, unless the customer is willing to pay VAT, or agrees to take delivery at the registered address.   After delivery, you have to keep a record of the waybill and a delivery confirmation showing the delivery address, like a printout of the shipping label and tracking records from the shipping company, along with the VAT ID verification that you got in the post, and the invoice that indicates reverse charge. The delivery confirmation is something that is still unclear to me. I think it used to be that you had to get the customer to sign a statement declaring that they received the delivery and that it was intended for business use. But I think the rule was changed, so that a printout of the tracking was sufficient. But I'm not sure and you should look for official sources of information about this requirement.   For the monthly VAT forms, assuming that I sell "standard" products and not special products or other special situations, there is a separate box for entering zero VAT delivery sales, and a different box for entering zero VAT service sales. I usually put mine in box 41 and 21.   Zero VAT export outside of the EU, I put in box 45.   If I buy something from B2B, as my own business expense, and it was sold to me with reverse charge, then I charge myself VAT and then immediately refund it to myself, in boxes 89 (for 19%), 61, and 46, 47, 67.   The annual forms have similar boxes, but are numbered differently.   But it will be different if you are selling special products and services, like minerals, food, vehicles, property, assets, business, triangular sales, pass through sales, etc.
  4. Owing self-employment tax to the U.S.

    For the past couple years, I send in the DUSA/101 with the 1040 and Schedule C, but without Form SE. I usually entered "0" in the self employment tax line on the 1040. I would also include a letter with 1 sentence saying I was exempt by tax treaty and was attaching the DUSA/101 form.   I saw somewhere, maybe on the turbotax website, where it said to enter "EXEMPT" in the self employment tax line on the 1040, where I used to enter 0. I might try that. But I haven't been sending in an empty or zeroed Form SE.   I wonder if I should include Form SE next time. What do you enter for the lines on Form SE?
  5. Blood tests without health insurance?

    I recently did a blood test. The doctor told me I would get a separate invoice from the laboratory. I got a Rechnung in the mail from the doctor for 65€ which had stuff for testing of cholesterol and minerals, etc., and I didn't see anything from the laboratory, so I sent it off to my private health insurance company to make a claim. But then a week later, I finally got the bill from the laboratory, which was another 65€, for stuff like endocrinology and entzündungsparameter. I guess the extra cost was because I asked the doctor to do every type of blood check she could recommend. So possibly a basic test is around 65€, and a more investigative test would be around 130€, but the actual cost could be greater, depending on the types and quantities of tests ordered.
  6. I was told by a German that my flashing bicycle lights are not allowed in Germany. Is this true? It's the first time I've heard of such a rule in any country.   After reading wikipedia and other posts on this forum, I read that all bikes over 11kg must have dynamo lights, but I have a folding bicycle for touring and have front and rear racks with panniers carrying 30kg of gear. I don't think it's even possible to attach a dynamo to the bicycle when folded with all the protruding parts pressed together.   I bought extremely bright flashing lights to use while in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand touring on my bicycle so I wouldn't get hit by cars.