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Everything posted by MaineCoon

  1. The Contract for Sale is sent well ahead of time to both parties, who have tons of time to peruse it. Therefore the reading aloud seems to me to be (a) completely pointless and (b) a waste of time ($$s!). As far as understanding is concerned, who on earth could keep the entirety of a verbal reading in their heads enough to be certain they have understood all the fine points?   There must be some reason for this practice. My Notar just says "It is required" but does not know (!!) /why/ it is required. Does anyone know what the historical background for this is?  The only thing I can think of is that it has its roots in a time when only a small percentage of the population could read, but I find this rationale less than persuasive.  
  2. @tor Nice one, made me laugh out loud   @PandaMunich: Blimey, it's amazing that Mazimilian I ever found time to sleep. There seems to be no sphere that he wasn't interested in, involved with, and contributed to - usually with a very positive effect. Not many rulers can brag of leaving a 400+ year legacy. I do wish he hadn't chosen 'Fraktur' font though - it's really hard to read. Fascinating stuff - I've tripped over "Zeitschrift für das Notariat in Baden-Württemberg" (2002) at which talks about the beginnings a bit more. There are some references to "der Rezeption" in the WP article, as well as the Zeitschrift one, but annoyingly the relevant WP article is very short on history and background for the particular period. oh well.   Thank you very much for the references, really appreciated. After I've become an historical scholar* on the Hapsburgs, perhaps I'll be able to appreciate the nuances of it all a bit better. I can see why Wills had to be read aloud, especially given that in them thar' days many people got a scribe to write their Wills for them as they lacked the ability themselves. Still can't help thinking the Bundesnotarkammer were not at all interested in changes which might affect their pockets. For eg., it is not unreasonable that a "reading aloud waiver" be granted if both parties request it - however this is not an option for the main Contract. Hmph. * Not sure in which life though.
  3. The reading aloud isn't to do with one's facility in the German language, it's done for native Germans too.
  4. I have no problem with "old-fashioned", but I can state with complete certainty that my understanding of a contract is derived from reading and re-reading it. To hear it read aloud once would not be a substitute for me, but perhaps I am in the minority.   > You might be surprised how many inconsistencies you only become aware of when the deed is read aloud. I'll have to take your word on this, as my vast experience encompasses exactly two contracts to date   Did this practice first appear in §13 (1) Beurkundungsgesetz?  If not, when did it first start happening, ie what is the historical precedent? The web is remarkably useless on this.   Nevertheless, I find it curious. If it's such a good thing, why doesn't this also happen in the USA, UK, NL, CZ and France? (Those are the only countries where I know people who've bought property.)
  5. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    Hm. I think I'm going to let this particular dog continue snoring, and just take the hit re the tax relief, should it turn out that way. Sent the letter to the Pru this morning; I don't expect to hear back for a week or two.
  6. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    Good grief. And there was me thinking how nice, tidy and simple my financial life was. I suppose thing-to-do No.1 is find out for sure whether the Pru did or did not claim tax relief, and for which years. Everything else flows from there.   GaryC: I should mention that my husband has a small building firm; he specialises in stone-built buildings. We bought and rebuilt some to keep over the years, which then turned into rentals. At the moment, we're working on what I hope and pray is the very last one. So when I've said above "refurbish", I really mean "rebuild the wretched thing".  It'll be nice when it's done - new roof, skylights, bigger windows, etc., etc.  
  7. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    @GaryC, thanks for the heads up. The Pru know I'm in Germany, as they send the annual statements here. I will need to read both the links you sent, but a quick scan shows: I file annually for income tax in the UK, and anticipate continuing to do so indefinitely. Therefore, the 5-year rule won't apply - as long as the earnings are "relevant".   The question of "relevant earnings" is moot. I have previously engaged with HMRC on this matter, arguing that refurbishing, managing and looking after the properties consumed enough of my time for it to be a trade (the argument related to what's tax-deductible and what isn't). Additionally, most of the profits were ploughed back into the acquisition of other properties. They did agree, eventually, so hopefully that's not a problem either. Now, I'm not sure if I should / should not let sleeping dogs lie.  Looking back, I wish now I had put them all in a company, but "you can't should've".  
  8. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    Gosh. When do you sleep?  I can see I'm going to have to clear the decks, sit down and get to grips with this lot. I'll probably go with the paper version until I feel confident I know what I'm doing. With the vast quantity of information you've so kindly provided, I shouldn't have a problem. I hope.  Ich stehe in deiner Schuld. 🙏
  9. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    Gosh, am I glad I posted my Q here. Thank you so much, even though your advice is going to lead to quite a few days of pain and drudgery. Thank you for the info about a Selbstanzeige, I can see I have a great deal of reading and understanding ahead.   Re the S1: Thank you, yes I do know - because @john g. was extremely helpful in holding my hand while I navigated through the wilds on this.   > Income for which the UK has the taxation rights and that you can prove you taxed in the UK through your UK tax returns, still has to be declared in your tax return, in Anlage AUS... Good grief. What on earth was I paying the Steuerberater all those €000s every year for? I had no idea I was supposed to declare my taxed UK income here. And she certainly never mentioned it.   Yes, I've heard of Progressionsvorbehalt, they have something similar in the Netherlands, where my son lives. Seems reasonable it should be here too, although (again) the Steuerberater never asked me about UK income, nor mentioned there being a Progressionsvorbehalt here.   > Ask Prudential to issue a certificate... I certainly will, thank you. > You will also have to provide your UK tax returns... That's no problem. > You wouldn't have also had a few ISA or LISA, would you? Nope, never. > But you said that you had invested in stocks at Commerzbank. "Invested", ha. Those stocks paid exactly €0.00 for the entire period I had them. Every year I would get a letter "Sorry, things weren't so good this year... but next year...". As I said, the day they reached their buy-in price, I got rid of the lot - so made exactly €0.00 on them. Their existence and lack of dividend-ness were included on each year's Steuererklärung though, so that's one less headache.   > If you didn't declare the profit in your UK tax return,... I'm a software engineer, so I know a bit about databases and information exchange. I would never attempt to fiddle my taxes by assuming the left keyboard didn't know what the right one was doing.   > I think you need to switch your way of thinking... I hear you. I had partitioned it in my head: "What's earned here, is taxed here" wrt each country. But it's become clear things aren't quite that simple.   > Think long and hard whether you haven't been forgetting other income!),... By the time I was 28, I had decided that "investments" weren't for me, as I don't have the nerve. The one or two occasions on which I've deviated from this decision have only reinforced it. At that time, I also thought the state pension wouldn't exist by the time I was 65. Since then, I've put all my income into property - which is why I don't have interest income as I've never had any savings worth talking about. So yes, I'm completely sure I don't have any Capital-type stuff anywhere else.   My UK Tax Returns all say (eg) 2014-2015: Gross interest income: £14.00. My taxable income for every year (except one) has been less than my UK Personal Allowance. However, from what you've been saying, I have to declare that taxable income here, so that it can be taken into account to calculate the correct Progressionsvorbehalt for 2012-2014. Then for 2015-2020, I can forget about rental income (but not interest income); and starting in 2021, I must declare it.   > Any forgotten income will lead to the Selbstanzeige not being successful Right, so I'm better off over-declaring things. I can't help feeling rather cross with the Steuerberater - it was, after all, her job to know about all this. It would have been zero hassle to include the UK stuff along with everything else at the time. Grrr.   One last thing: I have a bad feeling that rather than just giving the Finanzamt a simple list of things I forgot (for each year: bank interest income, taxed income), the correct figures for the DE filings for each year are going to have to be re-calcuated and amended throughout, and the entire form re-submitted. Am I correct in thinking this? If so, is there a "DE Tax Filing for Self-Employed Dummies" site somewhere you could point me at?  
  10. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    @PandaMunich: hmm... you're right, I didn't take the "tax relief" bit on board, apologies. I moved to Germany in 2007, so at that point the scheme had been running for 22 years. Prior to 2007, I had been tax-resident in the UK since forever. I have been self-employed for my entire working life. The pension scheme docs say: "Contributions by individuals and third parties are paid net of basic rate tax relief to the scheme and the scheme administrator claims basic rate tax relief from HMRC, which is paid directly into the scheme." I think that means Article 17(3) requirements have been met?   @GaryC: yes, I had taxable income in the UK during the entire period I was working in DE, and yes the pension contribs were declared on my UK tax returns each year.   Good point re bank interest; I forgot that comes under the "Capital Income" heading. I just had a quick glance, and a back-of-the-envelope calc shows that my entire interest income during 2007-2014 was the princely sum of ~£400.  Eep, I never declared any of that on my German tax returns - although note, they were always prepared by the Steuerberater, who gave me a form to fill in when I registered with her back in 2008, but I don't recall it asking anything about UK bank interest - which I faithfully calculated every year and is declared on the UK tax returns.   @PandaMunich said: "There is a separate tax-free allowance for capital income of 801€ per person, so you may not even end up owing any tax because of your capital income, but you still have to declare it. So that would also be a reason for a mandatory tax return in Germany." Possibly the Steuerberater chose to ignore the miniscule bits of interest? Note, after the 2008 debacle, bank interest shrunk to the point of near-invisibility and has pretty much stayed that way ever since.   (groan) so I may have to fill in the 2014-date tax returns here because of the bank interest? And maybe get into trouble over 2008-2014 not-declared UK bank interest? The gods don't love me  
  11. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    I started the Pru pension back in Mar.1984. All premium payments have been consistently made from one UK bank account. I only started taking £s from the plan in Apr.2022, ie this year.   So, according to Article 17, I should be fine - but how can I persuade the Finanzamt to get off my case? Am I going to have to compile a massive binder of Article 17, plus the state pension paperwork, plus 38 years worth of bank statements (argh!!) plus 38 yrs worth of Pru annual statements, hump them all down there, and argue the toss? tbh, I'm not at all sure I have all the bank and Pru statements.
  12. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    I have two pensions: 1. a UK state pension 2. a UK private pension with the Prudential.   I have no capital income whatsoever. I hold no dividends, no stocks or bonds, no mutual funds, no unit trusts, no stock-market type investments in any country in the world. Commerzbank persuaded me into my one-and-only foray into the stock market, against my better judgment; the week after I bought in, the stock dropped to ~13% of its buy-in value. It took years for it to get back to what I paid, at which point I sold the lot. All this was declared to the Finanzamt at the time. Never again, my nerves can't stand it.   I am not a German citizen.
  13. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    Hallo, and thank you for replying. I have income from two sources: (a) UK pensions, and (b) UK rental income. I file and pay taxes in the UK for both. I did retire from our GmbH in 2014, and I did tell the Finanzamt. The GmbH was dissolved shortly afterwards. Nevertheless, the Finanzamt has continued to press me for annual filings. I went into their offices in 2017 (via a web appointment) and spoke to some random lady, who merely reiterated as nauseam: "You Must File". Since 2015, I have been working (for free) for a non-profit based in NL. I do not, and have not, received any remuneration;  I bear the incidental costs of this work myself (computer, electricity, travel, etc, etc.). (It's a "I profited from the world's infrastructure and economy for decades; it's time to give back" thing.)
  14. Filing a tax return - help on how to file

    @PandaMunich This is very interesting. The Finanzamt are insisting that I submit tax returns for every year, starting in 2014 - even though I have not worked in Germany since 2014.  They say I don't have to, /unless/ they ask me to, which they are.  Prior to 2014, I was working here as Selbstständige, and filed here every year. All taxes due are paid up to date. For the sake of a peaceful life, I'm contemplating downloading the forms (but which forms, given that I'm not working?) and just putting "0.00" everywhere that looks plausible and giving them that, possibly along with my UK tax returns. Apart from the fact that my Steuerberater has retired, I don't much feel like handing over €00s for putting a bunch of zeros in. 
  15. When does a contract become binding

    Hallo again,   This post is a semi follow-on from Schrebergarten purchase using a Genehmigungserklärung. After a year of messing around plus Covid interruptions, we are finally at the point of signing the contract. My friend, who was going to make the purchase from my ex on my behalf (see old post but tl;dr) lost his job and pulled out. I then went ahead as the purchaser.   The sequence of events - as insisted upon my his lawyer - will go as follows: 1. The seller (my ex) will sign his half of the contract through a representative. 2. I will send the €35,000 to the Notar. 3. I will then attend at the Notar's office in person and sign my half. 4. The sale will be registered in the Grundbuch.   My question: does the contract become legally binding (on us both) as soon as the seller has signed his half? If not then, when?   The reason I am asking is that my ex owes me €5,000. This is not in doubt; there are emails and letters acknowledging the debt. However, I am 1,000% certain he has no intention of paying it, and paying a lawyer to sue him makes no sense. I am therefore thinking about transferring €30,000 - ie. the purchase price less the €5,000, to the Notar, and then arguing the toss.   However, I do not want to jeopardise my purchase of his half of the Schrebergarten. It's been a very long, hard haul to get to this point.  
  16. When does a contract become binding

    @BayrischDude, @pappnase, Thank you very much. On the basis of what you've both said - which agrees with what I already thought but did not want to believe - I shall transfer the €35,000 to the Notar.  *Then* I will write to the seller's lawyer and ask when he plans to repay me the €5,000.  I definitely don't want to jeopardise the sale in any way. With luck, he will choose to deduct the €5,000 from the €35,000; without luck, I will have to go the small claims court route. Fortunately this is a no-brainer, as the €5,000 is well-documented.   @Jeba: as it happens, the small claims route was going to be my next question. I've tracked down a few old threads on how to go about it. One of them mentioned that it would be a good idea to get a lawyer to look at my claim before submitting it, and I think that is a very good idea. I'd rather spend €150-200 than find myself with a failed suit and a pile of court costs. BUT I don't have a lawyer. I contacted a few in my area, and was basically turned down "Very sorry, much too busy..." I got the feeling they didn't want to know because there wouldn't be much money in it for them. So: does anyone have a recommendation?