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About Lindsayj

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality American
  • Gender Not Telling
  1. Niederlassungserlaubnis: How long does it take?

    The process for my Niederlassungserlaubnis (not Berlin and pre-Covid) went very quickly. Had all my paperwork. After my appointment I would say I had the permit within a month. Really easy. Very professional. Someone asked about the language certificate. I have heard wildly different stories about whether this is needed or not, whether speaking good German would help, depends on which state you are in, etc. In my case, they wanted to see it. I had a B1 certificate which I used for my Blue Card before and that sufficed. 
  2. I can't say I have heard any stories, but there would be no grounds to refuse you (in non-Covid times...) as an EU citizen and provided there are no issues such as being a criminal or having drugs on you, etc. I think you may overstate the concern of the guy to whom you have your maroon passport. They are just doing their jobs, process hundreds of passports a day and are generally trained to be suspicious and look for deception. That's their job (what's the point if they are all just Steve Martin The Jerk). Having travelled scores of times internationally, I have never once dealt with anyone at any border control who was not professional. I don't know why you gave up your US citizenship, but I suspect you had your reasons, and if it comes up, I would just suggest you say why. You likely have good reasons to visit the US too and good reasons to return to the EU. 
  3. Eligibility for Covid stimulus checks

    Thanks, all.  If it is based on AGI I should clearly qualify - I definitely do not earn more than 75k after FEIE. I must have qualified for the first stimulus because they sent me the first check! So I was surprised that I did not get the second check, because nothing in my income or circumstances changed.   I would have been happy to have them wire the money to my US account but I guess this was not an option. I have always done paper filing, not e-filing. This would have also saved me the hassle of mailing my check to a family member to deposit in my US account on my behalf (as Deutsche Bank would not take my check, because it was drawn by the US Treasury, which for reasons not clear to me, is not an acceptable payor to Deutsche - or seemingly other German banks!)   I guess I just have to wait to see if I get the third check. I guess if the US Government is printing money like monopoly, and my kids or I will be responsible to pay it back/pay the interest, I might as well get my cut, right. 
  4. Hi all,   I am curious how many American expats have received covid stimulus checks. I received the first check last year (delayed but I received it by mail in Germany). I have yet to receive the second stimulus check ($600) and I know the $1400 checks are just now being sent out. According to the IRS website, all the second-wave checks have been mailed out and you can't even check the status on those anymore. I guess it is possible the check still could be coming on the mail (mail is really slow right now between the US and Germany). But I am starting to lose hope.    I file taxes every year (have not yet for 2020 - don't have enough information yet). Curious how many expats have received the checks effectively because of the German/US tax treaty and the ability to set off income nearly 1:1 (like with a Form 2555) + deductions, which results in little to no bottom line income in the US. I was surprised to receive the first check because had I earned my income in the US, I would not have been eligible to receive any Covid relief. But because my US income effectively nets out to $0 on my 1040, I guess it looks like I, or indeed most expats, are pretty poor. I am not complaining that I got my check - just wondering if the IRS considered that! Well...maybe for the second check they have! Anyone else out there get a check only essentially only because your bottom line 1040 nets out to a small number or $0?   Thanks! Would love to hear other experiences. 
  5. Deutsche Bank and US Treasury checks

    I don't think this answers your question exactly but I note I did try last year to cash my US treasury check (the covid check) with Deutsche and while they tried to help me, the Filialleiter finally told me he can't do it, bank policy and that it was a recent development. But I guess you question is whether any USD check can be negotiated with Deutsche. That I cannot say. It was actually the first time I ever tried to deposit a check with them!
  6. Hi all,    Updating my situation. Still American, still in Germany. I was able to buy an ETF on Interactive Brokers. What is very clear to me is that there is no chance to buy them on a US market (from IBM anyway), but I have trading permissions for ETF/UCITS based in Europe on a European exchange. I bought one share of this just to see if it would work - and it did. So I am happy about that. I hope this was not some error by IB     I also read that for Americans buying non-US-domiciled ETF/UCITS can be a tax trap. However I have also read that this has exceptions - which I need to investigate - such as the treaty tie-breaker rule and no reporting requirements if you own less than $25,000 in ETF/UCIT/PFIC.    There is no substitute for tax advice from a professional and I will definitely seek that out - but curious as to other Americans' experiences with the IRS on this topic or the exceptions.    Hoping others have found solutions.