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Posts posted by PandaMunich

  1. No, don't worry, if the item is sold by or by a Marketplace seller who keeps the item in an Amazon warehouse in the UK (= fulfilment by Amazon = FBA), you get charged 19% German VAT instead of 20% UK VAT and the item gets delivered as usual, i.e. within the same short time frame as up to 2020, no extra charges, you don't even notice that it originated from outside the EU. 


    The problem you describe arises if you buy something on the Marketplace, which is then sent out by a non-EU marketplace seller directly, i.e. if the item isn't kept in an Amazon warehouse.

    Here, you will have to deal with import VAT, and since the German customs office allows DHL to act as an intermediary, you would have to pay to DHL both the 19% import VAT on (price of item + cost of shipping), plus a 6€ fee (Auslagepauschale):   


  2. 9 hours ago, fraufruit said:

    Nice to hear that quark is good for something. :lol:


    This tells me you haven't yet tried Marillenknödel - mmmmh!


    My simple recipe (tastes just as good as the complicated one and it's much faster and less work):


    2 x 250g Sahnequark (that's the one with the most fat)


    Hartweizengrieß (durum wheat semolina). Do not use Weichweizengrieß, that's for making semolina pudding and you would get a sludge in the pot instead of separate dumplings.


    10 to 12 apricots


    250g butter


    Semmelbrösel (white breadcrumbs). Do not use Paniermehl, it's not the same thing, the mixture needs the rougher crumb texture. 


    Zucker (caster sugar)





    1. put the 500g Sahnequark into a bowl, mix in Hartweizengrieß with a fork until you get a dough that doesn't stick to your fingers.
    2. pinch off a tenth of the dough and form it around each apricot by rolling them in your hands, about 0.5cm thick.
    3. Put them all into a big pot (around 5l) of boiling water. As soon as they are in, turn down the heat, put on the lid and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the dumplings swim at the top, they're done.
    4. melt about half of the 250g pack of butter on low heat in a pan. Take care it doesn't turn brown, if it does, throw away the butter and start again. Then sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, enough that they turn into moist crumbs, not too many, you still need enough "unbound" butter to also bind the sugar that you now sprinkle in.
    5. Put 2 dumplings per person on a plate and dump plenty of the butter/breadcrumb/sugar mixture on them and eat it immediately. That mixture only tastes good fresh from the pan.
    6. Only make the crumb mixture immediately before serving!




    That photo doesn't have enough of the crumb mixture, there should be about 50% of the dumpling volume in crumb mixture on the plate.

    And don't skimp on the butter when making the crumb mixture, it's what makes it taste so good :)

    No artificial shortages!


    Complicated recipe, with video (who has the time?):


  3. 3 hours ago, john g. said:

    So when we get back to Hamburg soon- my biggest wish: a BIG screen! 27 inches!



    So I can see what is on the bloody thing, hopefully even in the evenings!

    Why so modest, 55" is bigger than 27"! 

    799€ at, it costs over 1,000€ elsewhere.

    And it also has an excellent soundbar (= speakers).

    Philips 558M1RY/00 Gaming-Monitor (139,7 cm/55 ", 3840 x 2160 Pixel, 4K Ultra HD, 4 ms Reaktionszeit, 60 Hz, VA LCD)





  4. 9 hours ago, jeba said:

    @PandaMunichWould applying for "Wiedereinsetzung in der vorigen Stand" (reinstitution to the status quo ante) be an option, based on the fact that the OP hadn't received the tax bill which was sent to the wrong address? 

    If there had only been that version sent to the wrong address, yes, but only if they had then sent the Einspruch (which they didn't do) within 1 month of the next tenants handing them the Bescheid, see §110 (2) AO:


    But you also need to read no. 3 in the original post, they also got the Bescheid sent to their correct address at the end of July, passed it on to the Steuerberater and the Steuerberater then missed the 1 month deadline from this second version, since he only filed the Einspruch at the start of September.


  5. 4 hours ago, ursanb said:

    Legally speaking, can they take and fix such a decision? The situation is clearly a huge misunderstanding, easily demonstrated by the documents we had provided... so the mistake is obvious. 


    Isn't there any way to make appeal against their decision?

    Did anybody had similar issues and.. if they did, how was it solved?

    Yes, they can do it.

    No, if that Schätzbescheid wasn't made "open" (it's "open" if you see § 164 AO on the first page of the Bescheid): 

    there is nothing you can do to avoid paying the tax based on the estimated income in the Schätzbescheid.


    Please read:

    What you can do is claim any unjustified tax from your tax adviser's professional liability insurance (all Steuerberater have to have it), i.e. any tax that was only caused by your Steuerberater missing the Einspruch deadline. 

    But you would need to prove that you forwarded the Bescheid immediately to your Steuerberater for the insurance to pay out.


    Why did you not give your Steuerberater an Empfangsvollmacht, so that all Bescheide and all correspondence would have been sent directly to him?

    That way, the date when he received the Bescheid would have been clear.


  6. 2 hours ago, faraday007 said:

    Do I also need to provide proof of "in need" or "Bedürftigkeit" for my wife? I read some articles Link that for wife one does not need to prove this "in need" clause. Is it true? Please share your experiences.


    Well, let's have a look at the very first post in this thread:


    On 29/05/2013, 01:47:05, PandaMunich said:

    If you are supporting:

    • your needy parents or parents-in-law or needy grandparents or grandparents-in-law (who have to be at least 65 years old or have a medical certificate stating that they cannot work), or
    • your spouse&kids or unmarried parent of your child (no need to be needy; kids only eligible up to the age they finish their first job training, e.g. Bachelors degree, but maximum till age 25)

    you can claim up to a certain amount per person, per year, for their maintenance.



  7. 1 hour ago, krankenwagen said:

    My husband would be signed off work from next Wednesday 13th. On the same day (13th) he hands in his resignation on medical grounds. His notice period is 4 weeks to the 15th or end of the calendar month, so he would state that the 15th November is his last day. However the 15th would be 5 days into the Elternzeit he requested from work, so would the rule about giving 3 months notice during Elternzeit still stand in this case? Could they technically say he has to work the 3 months notice, or is that only if you resign during the Elternzeit, not before? I know you mentioned this doesn't usually happen and I hope they will just let it go, but would like what the official standing is just in case.


    He has sent a formal written request for Elternzeit but hasn't received a written confirmation back yet, so would it be possible to just say he wants to resign and cancel his Elternzeit request? 


    That 3 month rule is laid down in §19 BEEG:

    • § 19 Termination at the end of parental leave
      The employee may only terminate the employment relationship at the end of parental leave by giving three months' notice.

    It only applies if he wanted his last day of notice to be the last day of his Elternzeit, i.e. if the child is born on 15. November and he only takes 2 months of Elternzeit, then the end of his Elternzeit would be 15. January 2022.

    So if he wanted to resign effective 15. January 2022, then the 3 month termination period would apply, i.e. he would need to hand in his resignation by 15. October 2021.


    But this is not what he wants, he wants the last day of his notice to be 15. November 2021, and for this case, his normal notice period from his contract applies, see here:

    • Kann ich während der Elternzeit kündigen?

      Als Arbeitnehmerin oder Arbeitnehmer können Sie Ihre Arbeit auch während der Elternzeit jederzeit kündigen. Dabei gilt Ihre normale Kündigungsfrist. Diese finden Sie in der Regel in Ihrem Arbeitsvertrag oder - falls Sie nach Tarif beschäftigt sind - im Tarifvertrag.
      Nur wenn Sie zum Ende Ihrer Elternzeit kündigen wollen, gilt eine besondere Frist von 3 Monaten. Dies gilt unabhängig davon, wie viel Elternzeit Sie angemeldet haben.

    • Can I resign during parental leave?
      As an employee, you can quit your job at any time during parental leave. Your normal notice period applies. You can usually find this in your employment contract or - if you are employed under a collective agreement - in the collective agreement.
      Only if you want to give notice effective the end of your parental leave, does a special notice period of 3 months apply. This applies regardless of how much parental leave you have registered for.



  8. 46 minutes ago, krankenwagen said:

    if they count the 12 months previous salary for Elterngeld from the last full month of salary (so October in this case), or from the date of the baby's birth/elterngeld application (in this case taking into account the approx 2 or 3 weeks on krankenkasse).


    The answer is in §2b (1) BEEG:

    • § 2b Assessment period
      (1) The twelve calendar months prior to the calendar month of the child's birth shall be decisive for determining the income from employment within the meaning of § 2c prior to the birth. 

    So if the baby is born in November 2021, they will base his Elterngeld on his salary between November 2020 and October 2021.

    If the baby is born a bit late (which isn't unheard of in a first pregnancy) in December 2021, they will base his Elterngeld on his salary between December 2020 and November 2021, in which case his Elterngeld would be a bit lower because the Krankengeld in November 2021 doesn't count as salary.



  9. 14 minutes ago, krankenwagen said:

    but his contract doesn't finish until end of February, so am I right in thinking technically if he doesn't resign beforehand they could expect him to come back after the 2 months of originally planned Elternzeit to work out that last month, unless his doctor also signs him off for that time as well? 

    Yes, of course.

    But I think they will fire him before that happens, they won't risk paying for a third sick leave.


  10. 52 minutes ago, krankenwagen said:

    I was just wondering, if my husband resigns on medical grounds, does the doctor sign him off for 6 weeks and then he hands in his resignation at the end of the 6 weeks

    That's it.


    52 minutes ago, krankenwagen said:

    Does his employer pay for the 6 weeks?

    Yes, his employer will pay your husband his full salary during these 6 weeks, if this is a "new" illness.


    But I would then expect that your husband will not even need to hand in his resignation at the end of the 6 weeks, since - if I read the signs correctly - his employer will simply fire him during his sick leave:

    21 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    My husband's work did offer him a development meeting which seemed to go well but they have since started to put on a lot more pressure and suggested they won't renew his contract due to his sickness time,



  11. 5 hours ago, jeba said:

    Are there limits to how much of a downgrade you have to accept? Could e.g. a former CEO with a 7-figure salary be expected to work as a receptionist for minimum wage?


    The limits are listed in §140 SGB III:

    • § 140 Reasonable employment
      (1) An unemployed person may reasonably be expected to take up any employment corresponding to his or her ability to work, unless there are general or personal reasons why employment cannot reasonably be expected.

      (2) For general reasons, employment of an unemployed person is in particular not reasonable if the employment violates statutory provisions, provisions of collective agreements or provisions on working conditions laid down in works agreements or provisions on occupational health and safety.

      (3) For personal reasons, employment of an unemployed person is unreasonable in particular if the remuneration that can be earned therefrom is considerably lower than the remuneration on which the assessment of the unemployment benefit is based. In the first three months of unemployment, a reduction of more than 20 per cent and in the following three months of more than 30 per cent of this remuneration is unreasonable. From the seventh month of unemployment onwards, an unemployed person cannot reasonably be expected to work only if the net income that can be earned therefrom is lower than the unemployment benefit, taking into account the expenses related to the employment.

      (4) For personal reasons, an unemployed person cannot reasonably be expected to work if the daily commuting times between his or her home and place of work are disproportionately long compared to the working hours. As a rule, commuting times of more than two and a half hours in total for a working time of more than six hours and commuting times of more than two hours for a working time of six hours and less are to be regarded as disproportionately long. If longer commuting times are common among comparable employees in a region, these shall be the standard. An unemployed person can reasonably be expected to move to take up employment outside the reasonable commuting area if he or she is not expected to take up employment within the reasonable commuting area within the first three months of unemployment. From the fourth month of unemployment onwards, an unemployed person can usually be reasonably expected to move to take up employment outside the reasonable commuting area. Sentences 4 and 5 do not apply if there is an important reason for the move. An important reason may arise in particular from family ties.

      (5) Employment shall not be deemed unreasonable merely because it is of limited duration, temporarily requires separate household management or does not belong to the group of occupations for which the employee is trained or which he or she has previously exercised.

    So to answer your question, no, as long as he gets ALG I, the CEO cannot be forced to work at minimum wage as a receptionist since his new net salary would be lower than his ALG I.

    The CEO (in tax class III and with at least one child and assuming a gross monthly salary of at least 7,100€) would get an ALG I of 2,989.20€ a month, see this ALG I calculator:

    His gross salary for a full time job at minimum wage would be 1,664€ (see this minimum wage calculator), which works out to around 1,330€ net a month.


    Here is an article listing all the criteria for jobs that still have to be accepted if you are on ALG I:

    The above article has a link to the specific instructions to the caseworkers, on how they should apply §140 SGB III (in German):




    However, should the CEO not find a new job during his ALG I period, he then falls back to ALG II (= Hartz IV = welfare).

    And then, he has to accept any job, no matter how low the salary.


    This is laid down in §10 SGB II:

    • § 10 Reasonableness
      (1) Any work can reasonably be expected of a person entitled to benefits who is capable of working, unless:

      1. he/she is physically, mentally or emotionally incapable of the work in question,

      2. the performance of the work would make the future performance of the previous predominant work considerably more difficult because the previous activity makes special physical demands,

      3. the performance of the work would endanger the upbringing of their child or the child of their partner; the upbringing of a child who has reached the age of three is generally not endangered if care is provided in a day-care facility or in day-care within the meaning of the provisions of Book Eight or in some other way; the competent municipal institutions shall work towards ensuring that parents who are capable of working are offered a place for day-care for the child as a matter of priority,

      4. the exercise of work would be incompatible with the care of a relative and care cannot be ensured in another way,

      5. the performance of the work is prevented by any other important reason.

      (2) A job is not unreasonable solely because:

      1. it does not correspond to a previous occupational activity for which the person entitled to benefits who is capable of working is trained or which was previously exercised,

      2. it is to be regarded as inferior with regard to the training of the person entitled to benefits who is capable of working,

      3. the place of employment is further away from the place of residence of the person entitled to benefits who is capable of working than a previous place of employment or training,

      4. the working conditions are less favourable than in the previous employment of the person entitled to benefits who is capable of working,

      5. it is connected with the termination of gainful employment, unless there are well-founded indications that the previous employment can in future end the need for assistance.

      (3) Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to participation in measures for integration into employment.

    Specific instructions to the caseworkers, on how they should apply §10 SGB II (in German):



  12. 10 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    My husband resigns on medical grounds through his doctor, either very soon (if his doctor says it's a new issue) as there is a maximum of 6 weeks until the baby arrives, or closer to the due date (as he only has 2.5 weeks left of fully paid sick pay if it's for the same issue). He then claims Elterngeld for approximately 3 months so we can visit England with the baby. This would be based on his last 12 months of full salary. Then we come back to Germany and he can switch to Arbeitslosgeld and look for a new job.

    Yes, that would work.


    10 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    I read that you can't travel when claiming Arbeitslosgeld, but you can travel when claiming Elterngeld which is why I think this is the better option, rather than going straight to Arbeitslosgeld. Is this correct?

    Yes, that is correct.

    However, to get Elterngeld, you would need to keep your German flat (= Wohnsitz) or spend at least 6 months out of a rolling 12 month period in Germany (= gewöhnlicher Aufenthalt), this is what is laid down in §1 (1) Nr. 1 BEEG:


    10 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    However, would that 3 months of Elterngeld then count towards his subsequent Arbeitlosgeld? 

    As long as he only takes up to 12 months of Elterngeld, the Elterngeld would not affect his later Arbeitslosengeld, which would still be based only on his salary.

    They look at a 2 year period going back from the last date on which he got Elterngeld, and if during those last 2 years, he worked at least 150 days, i.e. 5 months (he has), then his Arbeitslosengeld is simply based on his pre-baby salary, i.e. he gets the same Arbeitslosengeld I as if he had asked for it right after becoming unemployed and he would get the Arbeitslosengeld I for up to another 12 months.

    But as soon as he draws Arbeitslosengeld I, his caseworker at the Bundesagentur für Arbeit will make him apply for jobs, even for jobs that he is overqualified for, just to get him back to work, so it's not a second 12 month holiday.


    Only if he opted for getting only half the Elterngeld, but for double the time (= ElterngeldPlus), i.e. for 24 months instead of for 12 months, he would no longer have the "5 worked months" during in the 2 year period.

    He would only have drawn ElterngeldPlus during that 2 year period.

    In such cases, he can still get Arbeitslosengeld I, but it will not be based on his previous salary, but on a "fictive salary" that is based on his educational status (if he has a university degree he would get double of what he would get if he had no professional training at all).


    You can read up on this here:


    10 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    If not, I thought it might be possible that he claims for a longer time of Elterngeld (which would be based on his 12 months of full pay up until the birth) and just look for a job during that time without the help of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit? Would that be allowed?

    He can always look for a job on his own, yes.

    For qualified people, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit isn't that much help in finding a job.

    Usually, you know better what kind of job you are qualified for and where and how to apply.


  13. The Finanzamt uses the money it gets for the next thing that's due.

    --> if your 2020 tax was due before the prepayment on 10. September, then it will have used it for that first and only what remained for the prepayment.

    This is why I recommend that people give the Finanzamt a direbt debit mandate, that way they can never miss a payment deadline.


  14. The Finanzkasse doesn't make mistakes.

    By all means, call them, but I think you will find that you had forgotten something, e.g. the rest of the 2020 tax due after the tax return or VAT.


  15. 4 hours ago, segundgh said:

    So, let us say I have very modest profit perspectives, and considering the crazy bureaucracy just to sell a couple units per month at the beginning, is this something one can do IN Germany, as a independent one-person-shop, without spending tons with tax advisor?

    Only if you know German and are willing to learn to do all things related to your business yourself.


    At 1,125 VAT, if we assume that what you sold carried 19% VAT, you had a turnover of around 6,000€.

    --> this is under the Kleinunternehmer limit of 22,000€ turnover per year.


    So if you expect your turnover to remain that small, you could, to simplify matters:

    1. switch to being a Kleinunternehmer, so that you no longer have to do quarterly VAT announcement
    2. do not sell physical items to EU private persons --> that way, you avoid the OSS registration in case your sales to EU private persons exceeds 10,000€ per year:
      Which leaves selling to German customers or to non-EU customers.
    3. never buy more than 12,500€ per year in items from other EU countries
    4. never buy services for your business from outside Germany, because if you do, you have to pay 19% German VAT on them and file the VAT announcement, despite being a Kleinunternehmer in Germany.
      More than first meets the eye is provided from outside Germany, e.g. if you want to do Facebook ads for your business, that service would be provided by Facebook from Ireland.
      Same with Amazon, they provide the Amazon advertising from Luxembourg.
      And ebay seller fees come with an invoice from ebay Luxembourg:
    4 hours ago, segundgh said:

    I was asked to pay 100 EUR for a DVD with my records for 2020/10

    That's the DATEV archive DVD, which costs around 40€, plus probably their time applying for it and then sending it to you, see here:,elem


    5 hours ago, segundgh said:

    I just dream of a small niche products to be sold via Amazon mainly, and cannot believe how hard it is just to start.

    Then you had better remain VAT-charging.

    And you are opening a whole new can of worms, since Amazon will push you to FBA (fulfilment by Amazon) which means that you have your items in Amazon's warehouses and they merriley shift them between their warehouse in different EU countries, which means that you will need to register for VAT in all these countries. People usually use a service like Avalara to create the VAT announcements in all these countries.


    You sound naive: selling on Amazon is not something you should do lightly.

    Start of reading here:



  16. 2 hours ago, jeba said:

    That would mean that non-residents with income from German sources don't have to file a tax return. I wish it was like that. However, it isn't.

    Which is clearly stated in the link I had previously posted, see the heading "You are not resident in Germany".


    But this is not what Dizz was worried about.

    He was worried that someone with no ties to Germany at all, who just comes here on holiday and registers by mistake and therefore gets a Steueridentifikationsnummer, will have to file tax returns in Germany in all perpetuity, just because he now has a Steueridentifikationsnummer, despite not even living in Germany.


  17. 8 hours ago, segundgh said:

    Hard to let my little dream go, and I really would like to try, but just reading about the registration process, IHK, that and that insurance for zero profit plus being vulnerable to shark tax advisers scare me.


    Then I read about Estonia E-residency, that I could actually open up the business of an online shop anywhere in EU. Important: I am not trying to pay less taxes, I pay what I have to pay, I am trying to operate hassle-free as much as possible, and hopefully in 3 years to make profit. My doubts - How is the process of declaring that in Germany, where I actually reside? Because if after all I still have to recur to German tax advisers, honestly, the appeal is gone.


    So, if one is traumatized by bureaucracy and arrogance and bad costumer service, and the top priority is not 'avoid taxes', does it make sense to open up a business outside of Germany? Or Finanzamt will be even more a pain to me?


    Opening a company outside Germany while you're still resident in Germany would only add another layer of complication (and therefore cost).

    You would then need a Steuerberater more than ever.


    And there are other complications you don't know about yet if you want to sell items to clients outside Germany, unrelated to the Estonian complication, e.g. OSS (one-stop shop) since that - starting 1. July 2021 - also includes the distance selling of physical items:

    --> if you sell for more than 10,000€ per year to EU private customers, you will have to registee with OSS and charge your EU private customers their home country VAT rate, even if you are not registered for VAT in Germany, i.e. if you are a Kleinunternehmer here.


    The only people who should open an Estonian company are people who actually live in Estonia.


  18. 53 minutes ago, Dizz said:

    *Having a Tax ID does not necessarily mean you will have to pay taxes in Germany. But it does mean you will have to submit an annual return, possibly for the rest of your life.


    It doesn't, you know.

    Only people who are actually resident in Germany and additionally have as yet untaxed taxable income have to file a German tax return, see here


    Please note that if you are resident in Germany, you have to declare your worldwide income in your German tax return (except for some EU/EEA rental income), since as the country of residence, Germany gets to either tax that income outright, or to use it to raise your German income tax rate on the income it does tax see here.



  19. 14 hours ago, Guileshill said:

    I was drawn out of retirement at the beginning of this year. A programme of work that I could not ignore.


    I took on a Tax adviser, someone recommended on this site, but we have made little progress. The issue is that, quite rightly, he says that I must charge VAT to this single client.


    You should have asked the people who deal with this on a daily basis, i.e. the legal department of your WHO client and not expect a Steuerberater who in the normal way of things will never have had such a client such as you before (and never will again) to know about this.

    This is not standard fare.


    I came across this problem in my EU research project days, so I have the advantage of already knowing (a part of) the solution.

    But if I put just my Steuerberater hat on, this is not a trivial question.



    These international organisations are not "companies"="businesses", so no, the standard rules you know about do not apply. 




    --> If this is about work for a WHO branch located in another EU member country, e.g. the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) in Lyon/France, then the services you provide are exempted by the same procedure as the one for people who contract with the European Commission, i.e. that WHO branch provides you with their "VAT exemption certificate" and then the services you provide will be exempted from German VAT under §4 Nr. 7 d)  UStG:


    --> If your services are provided to a WHO branch in a non-EU country, e.g. to the headquarters in Geneva/Switzerland, and you provide either legal or management or technical advice to them, then according to §3a (4) Nr. 3 UStG you should charge that non-EU country's VAT rate. And then you would have to look into that non-EU country's laws to find the VAT exemption for the WHO which then lets you off the hook to charge them that non-EU country's VAT rate (for Switzerland it would be, since VAT is part of the class "indirect taxes", article 10 of the treaty between Switzerland and the WHO, which is what is intended by section 8 of the "Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations" (which also applies in Germany), this convention applies to your case, since the WHO is an agency of the UN). 

    If the services you provide are not legal or management or technical advice, then you will have to charge German VAT, your client will have to pay it and then get it back via the VAT reimbursement process, see below 


    --> if this is about services provided to a WHO branch in Germany, e.g. to the European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH), then since it isn't on the list of international organisations that are allowed by Germany to issue VAT exemption certificates for German VAT (as far as I know, only EMBL, ECB, ESO, ESA, EPO, EASA, EUMETSAT, ITU and of course NATO&co. are allowed to issue them), you will have to charge German VAT in your invoice, your client will have to pay it and they will have to get it back as laid down in §12 Gaststaatgesetz, as explained below.


    14 hours ago, Guileshill said:

    The client has no mechanism to pay any taxes, anywhere


    And yet, there is a VAT reimbursement process for the German VAT in place for international organisations at the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, to give them back any VAT they did pay.

    --> there are scenarios where they pay it (and get it back later), despite all their protests, see here (in English):




    If you send me your e-mail address, I can send you an extract from the commentary, that has all the legal sources and more details, to pass on to your Steuerberater.


  20. >Am I correct in thinking if he resigns now, he can apply for Elterngeld as an unemployed person and could claim up to 12 months (from when the baby arrives)?


    If he resigns now, it will lower his Elterngeld by a bit, since he would then have one or two months with income 0€ (since unemployment benefits do not count as income), Elterngeld is based on the sum of the salary income within the last 12 months before the birth:,elem

    --> ideally, he should time his resignation so that he has 12 "full" salaried months before the birth. The medical doctor may write him off sick under a different diagnosis, this would mean he would get his normal salary for up to 6 weeks (which would then "count" for Elterngeld) and starting with the 7th week Krankengeld from the public health insurer (which doesn't "count" towards Elterngeld).


    You also need to consider that Elterngeld is capped at 1,800€ per month, while unemployment benefits go up to 2,619€.

    --> so you may be better off having your husband claim unemployment benefits, plus 2 months of Elterngeld and you claim 12 months of minimum Elterngeld at 300€ per month.


    You really have to calculate it through with your own numbers:


    >If he stays in his job, and takes the 2 months Elternzeit, can he then resign at the end of the Elternzeit and still be entitled to Elterngeld for furter months as an unemployed person, or does he need to apply for 12 months Elterngeld when the baby is born with the intention of leaving work after 2 months?

    Yes, you can change around the allocation of the Elterngeld months between your husband and yourself later on:,elem#gref


    >I read if he wants to leave at the end of the Elternzeit he needs to give 3 months notice, but what happens if you are only taking 2 months off?

    Well, they could insist that he still works that extra month, but what mostly happens is that the employer just lets the employee go, with both signing an Aufhebungsvertrag (dissolution contract) in which they agree to part ways.


    >I read that Elterngeld can take a while to come through - how does this work with unemployment money? Would he receive unemployment money until the Elterngeld payments start? Would we have to notify the Bundesagentur fur Arbeit or does this happen automatically?

    Unemployment benefits come through faster than Elterngeld, yes.


    Nothing in Germany comes "automatically", you always have apply.

    And yes, you have to notify the Bundesagentur für Arbeit about any change.


    Please also read this:,elem


  21. 5 hours ago, krankenwagen said:

    My husband is 18 months into a 2 year fixed term employment contract and is having issues with a toxic work environment and has been signed off sick with burnout, stress and depression. He is insured with public health insurance and has been since he started working here. I am insured through his family insurance. If his employer decides not to continue with the contract when it finishes, or to fire him before the contract ends I think my husband can claim unemployment and his health insurance is covered, but does that include my cover with the family insurance? I'm pregnant and worried I won't have appropriate cover if this happens. 


    *Also just to note, we are planning to move away from Germany once the contract finishes but due to pregnancy complications I can't travel and I need to have the baby here in Germany before we can move*


    Yes, don't worry, a German public health insurance policy always also covers the non-working spouse (= you) and all children, regardless of the employment status.

    So your pregnancy will always be covered.


    As soon as he gets fired, but at the latest 3 months before the end of the contract (though going by what you describe, with him already being signed off sick because of burnout, I would go in sooner than later, in these cases he could even resign and not lose the benefits for the first 3 months like is usually the case if somebody resigns and doesn't get fired), your husband has to go to the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (old name: Arbeitsamt) and tell them that he is/will be unemployed and they will then pay him unemployment benefits and pay his public health insurance for him.

    Enter your postal code in here to find your local office of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit":


    Unemployment benefits (= Arbeitslosengeld I = ALG I) are 60% of his last net salary (once your baby is born, he will get 67% of his last net salary):


    Additionally, as soon as the baby is born, apply for:


    Kindergeld: 219€ per month

    It is only paid out retroactively for 6 months, so apply immediately after the birth.


    Kindergeld  is paid regardless of income, but you have to apply for it once the child is born, see this brochure (in English):


    You will need to fill in your own Steuer-Identifikationsnummer (= tax identification number) and the baby's Steuer-Identifikationsnummer (which will arrive in a letter about 2 weeks after the birth).
    Attach a copy of the birth certificate.


    Main application form (in English):

    + an "Appendix child" (in Englush):



    Elterngeld: 65% (for low-income: 67%) of the net salary, or 300€ per month if you didn't work the last year

    It is only paid out retroactively for 3 months, so apply immediately after the birth.


    Elterngeld is paid for 12 months after the birth and is capped at 1,800€ per month.
    Actually, the total Elterngeld entitlement is 14 months, but only if both parents take Elterngeld (and stay at home during those months!), so you could, for example, have the wife take 12 months and the husband take 2 months (this is what most people do), or the husband takes 12 months and the wife takes 2 months, or each of you takes 7 months, and so on. 
    Elterngeld, like Kindergeld, is given regardless of income.


    Here are the application forms for the Elterngeld in Hamburg, if you go there, they will help you fill in the form:




    If your family is low-income, there are also other benefits you can apply for, e.g.:




    Please also read this thread:


    Good luck and don't let this get you down, concentrate on the baby!