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About scook17

  • Birthday May 01

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  • Location Munich
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth
  1. Hi, am calling from Microsoft. Your PC is infected

    Take a look on Youtube. It's a common scam. I like it when they ring the guys who know what they are doing and infect the machine of the scammer, or the ones who just play as if they are so incredibly dumb and can't use a mouse. Its just funny to watch.
  2. Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

    Happened to stumble across a list of court victories against such companies practicing this form of legalised extortion:   I love google's translation into English 'Anti-rip off act" of 2013.  
  3. Travel to the uk - day 2 and 8 covid testing

    Just be thankful you are not in the group they lock away under guard in the covid hotels (ahem, prisons) and charge £1750 (around 2000 Euros) for the priviledge, paid to private companies:,from%2033%20red%20list%20countries. if you come from   Seriously, how many people will go through this hell? Seems to be countries of Africa and South America, which is likely why they get away with this. Unfortunately the cases in German rise again now they open again kinder gardens and people return to work.
  4. Brexit, New residence permits

    Interesting statement in the Berlin immigration office FAQ on brexit   It says Can I apply for an EU Blue Card? Yes. You are entitled to receive the residence permit that gives you the more favorable legal status. According to the Withdrawal Agreement, you can work for an indefinite period of time, while the EU Blue Card can be limited to four years. However, with the EU Blue Card you can use your mobility rights to a wider extent than would be possible with the GB Residence Document, namely also within the EU and the EEA .   I will shortly receive the GB card with permanent residency in Germany. I was trying to figure out what 'mobility rights' are being referred to here? I can see for example, Austria issues Red-White-Red-Plus cards instead of non plus cards. In effect you bypass the first stage. Anyway, might be an interesting choice for some.
  5. Could I get Astra Zenica Corona Jab

    Had a russian friend of mine who flew to Russia and got the injection there. However, you still need to quarantine when returning and any non EU vacination may not be considered 'approved' should we end up with vacine passports, which seems a likely outcome.
  6. You received a letter from the police. This means this is considered a criminal matter. You do not want any criminal matter listed against you in Germany, especially if you at some point in the future wish to apply for citizenship/residency etc.   Go an see a lawyer who will give you an initial consultation and discuss the implications. Your case is simple, but the laws and practice vary country by country. Only a German lawyer can give you a definitive answer. However, in most countries, shoplifting is classed as theft. Theft involves two elements, the act and the intent. Both must be established. If you admit to shoplifting, you are admitting to both elements.   In your case, I strong suspect the lawyer will tell you not to admit to the case. Then the shop can take you to the civil court for the cost of the lost items, which in your case was zero, so quite unlikely. The police can take you to the criminal court for theft. For this, they have have to consider if there is a case that will stand before a judge. For a criminal case, they need to prove both elements. They judge will then take into account the circumstances, and previous convictions for the like, and decide if any punishment is due. As you don't speak German, a court will appoint a translator for you.   In both cases, a letter from the lawyer stating the facts and offering to settle out of court in exchange for the shop dropping any criminal case is the most likely outcome. Likely outcome is that you will pay some legal fees and some compensation to the shop, agree not to shop there. But for this, you should have a lawyer organize it. Admiting shoplifting may lead to a criminal record, which you do not want.
  7. English teaching, Rentenversicherung and a big mess

    Can I ask what you actually get for those 5 years? Maybe you can find a part time job for the next N years which would, in some way, pay the missing contributions? Is it actually worth it? Like you I understood it was largely pointless, but it seems you changed your mind. Care to share what you came to learn?
  8. Accused of torrenting copyrighted material

      Well it's actually trivial to hack most people's wifi network. It's well documented on the internet about how this is done. So establishing an IP address alone only demonstrates the router used to connect to the ISP, not which one of the users connected to the router. This is a commonly known argument and I would image there is case law which covers this particular point. I suspect a specialist lawyer would advise you here and submit that there was no case to answer. I don't know how this plays out in the German courts, but the US courts have mostly moved to throw out such cases. However, I believe Germany has some regulations which make the owner responsible for any usage of the connection, one thing that causes issues with free internet services etc. I am sure Starbucks and the like have had many such letters and I doubt they pay these.   Would be curious to know what happened should anyone actually go to court, rather than just pay up. I am guessing the scam works on the basis 99% of the people just pay up. I am sure the courts are familar with these too and just rule automatically one way based on previous rulings.
  9. As you bought it online, can you not simply return it for no reason and a full refund within 14 days? I believe you have the right to do so.  
  10. One point often ignored is that the employer in German shares the social costs of an employee. They pay around half the pension, health care, ..., ..., insurance costs. As a freelancer, you pay both employer and employee. The employer takes care of all the tax paperwork and for the most part you just get a payslip with everything deducted automatically.   As a freelancer, you are a business owner. You have to read (and understand) a purchase contact. You have liability risk for not delivering or risk of having to fix something. You have to keep up to date with your field in your own time. You need to plan for time when you have no client who needs your services (actually pretty rare), but you still need to pay the bills. You have to want to be independant vs wanting someone to be there telling you what to do and taking all the responsibility. You may need to travel to some other city once in a while. As Karen mentioned, not so many people choose this path, but a good few do.      
  11. Did you ever see the German tax return? There is a base form and then twenty Annex forms. Everything additional thing you do has a special form. So if the guy does form A for XX euros, to do Form A + Form B for the same price does not seem a reasonable expectation.    
  12. Can one relocate to Romania or Bulgaria to save taxes

    Kay,   You say you are 'self employed'. Usually self employed people need to be physically present. Countries have regulations concerning if you a 'deemed' to be a resident and therefore subject the taxation in that country. Often this can be time based, or even something a simple as renting an apartment makes you 'resident'. Leaving Germany after being here for 10 years can trigger 'exit taxation', which I believe is more for people who own businesses or who have assets.   Some practical points to consider: 1. Leave/arrive at the start of a year, so no partial taxation in each country. 2. You might want to give your destination a 'try' first, e.g. a couple of week vacation to at least get a feel for the place. Tourist vs someone living there are two different things. 3. Health care. Does it work? Does it suck? How much does it cost? 4. Is self employment allowed? Does it attract special taxes (social contributions, trade taxes, ...). What licence is necessary to have such a profession etc. 5. What happens if you want to stay? Maybe you find a partner there or have kids. Becoming a citizen of certain countries can be quite hard. 6. Maybe you even get a camper van, mobile internet, and just drive around Europe for a year or so if you have one of the 'work anywhere' jobs. Sounds fun...        
  13. Personal finance software programs

    I found 'Wundertax' to be highly helpful (, but still doesn't quite do everything...  
  14. Tax refund claims for building a house

    Neo,   The craftsman costs are really only for people who do stuff on your property to maintain it. As I understand it, new construction is excluded. So for example the engineer who every year comes and check the boiler. The guy who comes and cuts the headge etc. Only the labor part is claimable. So if the boiler guy replaces a part, only his time, not the part is claimable. Additionally you have to show the amount was paid not by cash, so an invoice and a bank transfer etc.   As Panda mentions, this needs to be after construction. One thing I did not figure out, and perhaps someone can elaborate. When a house is built, it typically does not come with a garden. If, after moving in, I contract the a landscape gardener to design the garden and I then go to local garden place and collect all the materials, and the garden company then comes and makes the garden, does this count as construction or maintainence?   I would say the design part does not count, as it's not 'on the premisis' but the in design office of the landscaping company, but the work the guys do planting would count. Anyway there is a limit of 4K Euros as of 2021, so it's maybe an academic question, unless you wish to do the south garden one year, the north the next etc. You will be suprised how much such services cost.   As it happened with our construction, we used a company for everything and then had some organization write to us, I don't remember the name. Anyway they wanted to know who did the building, who did the painting, who did the garden, etc, etc. Along with this came a warning letter saying we could not employ any 'self employed' people to do such things and they had to be employed by a company. Coming from the UK where many builders, plumbers, painters etc are in fact self employed, I found this strange. As we purchased everything from the construction company, it was not relevant for us, but maybe it's relevant in your case.   I remember asking the building manager about this handyman costs and why the 20%. He explained, and I don't know how true this was, was it was an incentive to stop 'cash in hand' payments in the building industry. The 20% is approximately the 19% MWST charged on everything, yet to have to specially claim it. If this was really the case, then I am suprised they just didn't say craftsmans labor costs are exempt from MWST. Maybe they rely on not so many people actually claiming....
  15. Some points you might want to consider:   1. Germany has regulations about controlled trading companies, i.e. those which are registered elsewhere but are owned/managed/run by an person who is taxable in Germany. Probably either the 1/3 shares OR that you take an active part likely brings you under this definition. In such cases, the company is considered to be taxable in Germany. I have no idea how the other 2/3rd share ownership then works out. Probably this is a band outcome, to the extent I would not bother.   2. You can't draw a salary in the UK which is not PAYE. Payments from companies are either PAYE or Dividends. PAYE is sort of taxable in Germany, in that it bumps up the overall rate you pay on your German income (it's call Progression). Dividends are taxable as share income which is 25% minus the percentage paid elsewhere. There may be differences in dividends vs salary with regard to social contributions, but I don't know enough to comment here.   One point I am not clear on is the rate paid on dividend income in the UK given you have German income. Would you be a basic or higher rate UK tax payer? The difference is a 7.5% or 32.5% dividend rate, so I guess it matters quite a bit. So I guess the divdend rate (Germany+UK) will be between 25% and 32.5%.   3. The UK left at end of 2020, so it's no longer EU regulations on double taxation. Thus is a UK trading company even still a valid thing for a German tax resident? I did once look into running a GmbH (I am a freelancer) and it seemed a serious nightmare by comparison.   4. You may wish to consider not owning/managing the UK company, but simply working for it as a consultant. That would be a freelance role and kick off the freelance side. There might be 'restart' help available for taking up such a new business.   Hope this helps.