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  • Location Munich
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Male
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  1.   Just for comparison and to give you some idea, I can estimate that the 300L tank of hot water in the basement takes around 5000KW to heat throughout the year using gas which is exactly one quarter of the 20000KW what the house consumes in gas. So roughly a quarter for water, most of the rest for heating, and a tiny amount for the gas hob. Hopefully the solar water heating works well. Be aware you can get combined solar electrical and hot water heating panels now. Especially in the summer the solar PV panels get too hot to touch, where as they produce the optimal amount of PV energy when under 25C. Thus the combined panels flow a liquid down to a heat exchanger which collects the surplus heat for producing hot water. Be aware, solar PV and combined Solar PV/Thermal only effectively work Spring/Summer/Autumn and produce very little energy in winter.
  2. Soup kitchens in Munich

    Web link for Munich Tafel has changed it seems. I found this one works. 22,000 People in Munich use that food bank.   Arte recently produced a documentary on food banks in Germany, subtitled in English.   I though the school project was a very good idea. I would hope other schools follow such an example. I was surprised at the ambulance driver who said he would be better off claiming unemployment benefit than working. I was also surprised to see Germany does not have a law regarding throwing away waste food vs. donating it to charity.   I noticed the Munich Tafel provides donation receipts. For anyone who is not aware, such charity donations are a deduction in the tax return. Thus if you donate 100 Euros and let's say you pay the highest rate of 42% income tax, you will have to pay 42 Euros less in income tax as the 100 Euros you gave away is not considered as income to you anymore. When making such a donation you need to obtain a donation receipt (the box which says  'Ich möchte eine Spendenquittung erhalten'), but for small amounts even this is not strictly needed, only that there is a bank transfer which can be seen as donation to xyz.
  3. Diesel cars banned in Frankfurt

    And as of Feb. 1st 2023, in Munich too:,Fahrzeuge%20der%20Schadstoffklasse%205%20gelten.   Basically Euro4 is banned from 2023.02. Euro5 is expected to be banned in 2023.10. Euro6 and all previous exemptions banned in 2024.04 if still not good enough air quality.   As Euro4, 5 and six share the same 'green' sticker, I am guessing they will need to also revise this. What I am not entirely sure of, is if the environmental zone is extended to INCLUDE the middle ring road itself. I think it does.
  4. Taxes declaration on gifts

    It's fairly easy to work out the second hand value. Search for the item or similar item on 'completed AND sold' listings on ebay. Print the listings and file them. If the company is your own, yes, you need to declare the item as sold from the company at the market price to you. You just then give the company the money for the item and then there is no benefit, so no taxation due. Company must charge, collect VAT/MWST and then pay it on the sale if they are registered for this.   If it's a large employer, often they will largely give away useless IT equipment, as it give's it a second life, rather than going to the waste site. As such items as sold simply to pass title for a nominal sum, providing it's is obsolete, it saves the company money on recycling costs.    
  5. What's the issue with dual nationality?

      Taxation in Germany is based on residency and not citizenship. Only the US has citizenship based taxation. Residency of the person inheriting, has relevance under the German system, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff. Military service is actually citizenship based, but I would guess(?) you can't be called up if you are not living in the country. I am guessing again, those who obtain citizenship later in life are not retrospectively asked to do military service, but I guess some countries might require this also, depending on someone's age/sex and how relevant this was today.
  6. What's the issue with dual nationality?

    Why would you not just give up the application and resubmit the next day under the new regulations where giving up a previous citizenship was no longer necessary?
  7. Rent office space as employee

    One option you might want to consider is to rent an apartment close to the company and work in the company offices, as 'they have a nice office'. You drive Monday there and come back on Thursday/Friday. The cost of the apartment (It can be an AirBNB, Hotel, whatever) is a deductible (second home) from your taxable income as the apartment is for the purpose of working. It kind of sucks being away from home in this way, so it not for everyone.   Another option might be to find a neighbour/friend/parents who has a house and is happy to let you come around and work in the study/basement/kids room/shed/garage in exchange for a daily fee or other compensation. Maybe the person is old and you do the shopping or mow the lawn or something in exchange. Often older people are in houses with children who have grown up and left or maybe are away for one reason or another. You can claim a tax allowance for this even as an employee.   All you basically need is your laptop, and a desk/chair, and I'd strongly suggest a monitor as working on a laptop will give you back ache. You could supply this by popping down to Ikea, or maybe collect it from the office 100km away when you pick up the laptop. Often employers are fine with monitors, laptop docking station etc. A mobile internet 'box' is 80 Euros a month, which may or may not work at the location, if using the person's WIFI is an issue. You can even use your phone as a portable wifi hotspot if you have a suitable data package and a reasonable phone.   Regarding being self employed, if you are currently an employee, I would suggest against. You can be an employee of the company, or of an agency, but being a freelancer really means having a proper business, often admin staff, and not just one client. You need a tax accountant. You get to pay also the employer half of the pension, insurance, sickness costs etc. Also you loose unemployment insurance cover.  
  8. Do you plan to drive it or ship it on a trailer? Would be interested to know how you plan to transport it as I have a similar issue. As far as I know you can drive you EU car to the UK and then convert it to a UK car as it has always been. However, perhaps brexit, there are some changes. 
  9. Diesel cars banned in Frankfurt

      I wonder what is being done about wood burning stoves which emit black smoke   Seems they generate more harmful pollution than diesels. 
  10. Diesel cars banned in Frankfurt

      As it stands, businesses get a tax write off for buying a vehicle. Let's say a hangover from the automobile lobby. The tax office recovers this from the employees provided with such vehicles, through charging tax on the value and distance driven. For the most part these vehicles are leased and eventually go to the second hand market in fairly large numbers.   Now whilst a tradesman might well actually need a van to run a small business, and it might be cheaper to purchase a vehicle for a salesman  than pay him to use his own, most of those cars are simple 'perks'. A manager doesn't need a car to drive to/from work, but often they might get one as part of a salary package.   The German government dropped the tax paid by the employees to one quarter for EV's vs. ICEs. So regardless of what type of business car user you are, likely you'll be asking the company to purchase EV's for the next lease car, not a diesel. At the end of the lease, these enter the second hand car market. So we will see more and more EV's being available, not just to new car buyers.   I think the cost to you and I of funding this through government spending, is worth that outcome.
  11. Bacon Bacon Bacon!

      Thanks for the link. I will order some stuff and try. Is white pudding the same the Bavarian white sausages, or perhaps the alternative very thick white sausage that you cut into slices? I kind of remember that as a kid.
  12. My 9kWp Photovoltaik Anlage

      They key thing to realise is how much energy something takes. Yes, you only need to measure it once, so in principle you only need a single measuring device and a separate timer. That's what those old mechanical timer plugs with the wheels are, a simple and cheap timer. You can also get for like 10 Euros a measuring device with a LCD display you can manually read.   Using a smart device to disconnect the power after it, yes, leaves the smart device still powered. It does consume a tiny amount of power, so there is a break even point where the additional cost of powering the smart device is more than any saving.   If you are disciplined enough go around the living room and kitchen at the point you go to bed, and turn off everything with your fingers, sure this is by far the cheapest method. However, I found German plug sockets never come with a on/off switch as the UK one's do, so to do that you physically have to unplug everything and then plug it back in again the next day. That rapidly becomes a pain.   One alternative, as often people have multiple electronic devices for things like a TV or computer, is to use a master/slave extension socket. These I used for a while. They tend to be far more expensive than a standard extension socket (set of 6 plugs in a line), but have some electronics to detect a sudden drop in power usage on the master socket. All slave devices (TV=Bluray/DVD player, Streaming Media box, Games console, receiver, ...) can be turned off at the same time. However, when restoring power they all get turned on at the same time, which is often not what you want. However, it might be something useful with a computer, where it turns off the power to the monitor/speakers when the computer is shut down.
  13. Bacon Bacon Bacon!

      You can buy 1KG of bacon for 45 Euros and 2KG for 80 Euros. That's how many rashers??? Anyone tried this company?   They say on the site "How Has Brexit Affected the Bacon Industry? Brexit has had a significant impact on the British bacon industry and its availability in Germany. Strict regulations on importing and exporting food, and particularly raw meats, have resulted in an almost complete stop of transborder bacon trade between the continent and the UK. In Britain, this is problematic as vast amounts of supermarket bacon are actually produced in the Netherlands and Denmark (hence the common term “Danish bacon”) and can now no longer be imported. In return, retailers in Germany can no longer import bacon from Britain, and even private citizens travelling from the UK to Germany are no longer allowed to carry their own, personal supply of fresh meat products." Got stopped once at Heathrow, a long time before brexit, because I bought Hovis Granary Bread, Utterly Butterly and several packs of bacon. Apparently the bacon looked like explosives, so they had to check. After the 'no liquids' rule came in they even stole my unopened butter on a later trip! I then discovered the Irish butter they sell here. Actually very nice. As 'English' bacon is actually from Denmark, and the Netherlands (apparently), is there not a Danish or shop from Holland which sells it?
  14. My 9kWp Photovoltaik Anlage

      TP-Link Tapo P110 or P115. I got from Amazon. They use 2.4ghz wifi for setup and for extracting the energy information to the phone app. Other than that, you can turn off the wifi and they still work.   Tracks the overall consumption and also consumption in real time. You can program on/off cycles. So for example, turn off when I usually go to bed, and a few minutes before you get up. I like that you can program them come on/off +/- some time before/after sunrise/set which is useful for PV. Time adjusts automatically as it moves to winter/summer. Payback period is about a year with something small like a router. Usually they cost 15 to 20 Euros. Be sure not to buy the timer only version (P100/P105). Sometime cheaper to buy as a pack of 4 when on offer.   Alternatively you can buy a cheap mechanical timer on the plug socket. Useful for anyone not 'into' technology.
  15. My 9kWp Photovoltaik Anlage

      Real measures: Fritzbox + 8 Port 2.5gbe switch = 12KWh per month. ASUS Wifi Router = 7.5KWh per month.   Expect around 10w per device, but yes, it's good if it doesn't get warm. BTW, 10w x 24h x365 days = 87.6KWh per year. At 30c/KWh that's 26 Euros. A cheap shredder (50 Euros) I bought for the office consumes 11w when 'off', so the vampire things can be surprising. It's a similar story for the Canon office printer if left on all the time.