DoubleDTown

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About DoubleDTown

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  • Location Germany
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1969
  1. Two Part Podcast Series About Berlin

    and some people thought the July topic about expat podcasts in Germany was a shameless plug...    Best Podcasts for Expats in Germany
  2. Car Accident with Fahrerflucht

      If you got the right license plate, the bad guy will be prosecuted.  It's a police matter and no amount of the other driver being nice to you and you telling the police not to prosecute him is going to change that.    You are in an adversarial situation with the other driver.  He did something wrong.  You want money from him to make things right.  Generally in such a situation it is better to let a lawyer be an intermediary.  (but yes, lawyers will want to be paid for doing their job).   That being said, there would be advantages for you in learning the identity.  I would suggest communicating enough to learn the identity.  Do not say anything in your communications (especially written ones) that commits to any facts related to the incident.  Try to limit your communications to questions.    Do everything "the official way" -- tell your insurance company about the incident and let the police do their job.    In general, do not talk to the police either. Who knows what they will do with information you give them.  Perhaps they will say your vehicle was in the wrong spot.
  3. Car Accident with Fahrerflucht

      Yeah, Germany's privacy laws are over the top.  On the one hand, courts are open to the public (even in Corona times), so in theory you could attend any proceedings of the criminal case.  On the other hand I suspect it is unlikely the Staatsanwalt prosecuting the case will give you copies of the police report.    If your car needs fixing to run, I guess you need to go ahead and get it fixed.  But if there are non-TUeV cosmetic issues, you might try holding off on that until the criminal case winds its way through the court.  You also might try getting yourself a traffic lawyer (yup, could fast cost more than EUR 3k), or on your own seeing if you can get a statement from the guy that saw the crash and give that statement to the insurer. 
  4. School for non-German speakers

    I agree with LeonG that likely kids can enter school any time they enter the community.    As to starting school, I also agree with LeonG that typically 6 year olds will have some sort of contact with the system before school starts.  In my community, once kids were assigned to the Grundschule they got invitations to come meet with the school.  This involved taking the child to the school some afternoon where the parent(s) waited in a hall and the principal and a teacher met in the classroom with the child.  During this time they basically spoke with the child and determined if the kid could operate a pencil and respond to questions, take instructions.  So then they knew our child wasn't a total nutter, and our child had seen the inside of the building and met some of the grownups that were going to be there.    If our child hadn't spoken German, that certainly would have come out.  But I have no idea what the school would have said about it. 
  5. Any IT experts out there? Home WIFI problems

      if at all possible, run a patch cable to the 1st floor.  (er, Second floor in American).  Maybe out one window and in another?  Maybe up a staircase?  Nothing gives good signal like an actual wire.    If you need wifi on the higher floor, connect another router (e.g. a used one purchased from eBay, etc.) to the wire you ran upstairs and set up the old router as an access point. See, e.g., https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-turn-an-old-wi-fi-router-into-an-access-point/
  6. Road construction next door

      Hi,   As an outside observer, it looks to me like the new road (dotted line) is a good idea and on its face seems like it will reduce traffic on the Hauptstrasse in Kaltenengers and Sankt Sebastian.  Be that as it may, the best way to fight a public works project that has been in the planning for decades and was approved by Kaltenengers in 2009 is with the Bürgerinitiative „L126 – wenn dann richtig!“.  Check in with them and see what their next step is.   
  7. Road construction next door

    Land use changes all the time.  I am certainly sympathetic to not liking a nearby change that makes the property less pleasant than it used to be, but the only way to avoid that with certainty is to buy up everything around you or buy land that is adjacent to something that is unlikely to change - like a national park.
  8.   I dunno if its a punishable thing to lie to you about the reason they are not taking you on as a client.  But you certainly don't want a Pantentwalt that lies to you.   The Patentwaltskammer oversees them.  https://www.patentanwalt.de/en/ 
  9. A false debt ( buying online )

      a phone call may not be recorded -- without the consent of both parties.  Ask for consent to record the call.  If they don't grant it: warning flags.   I agree though that sending a letter with return receipt requested is the best way to document communication.
  10. English speaking people in Landshut?

      wish i could figure out how to do that  !   (military or police service, I suppose)
  11. Don't panic! Test of national catastrophe alarm

      Does that even exist any longer?  I'm sure there are still some holdouts, but I thought Telekom forced everyone to IP telephony?  I've still got an Actron B in one socket, but once my power is out and router goes off that's going to be the end of land line telephony. 
  12. Is it normal to deduct VAT *before* charging commission?

      Your scenario is complicated beyond my ability to answer it based on life experience of living in Germany.  You should probably invest a few hundred Euro in asking a German tax advisor (Steuerberater) to confirm you are doing things correctly.  Or ask the influencer to figure it out.   It sounds like you are offering a U.S.-based service of "we'll arrange to have an influencer market your products."   I think that would not involve German taxes.  But then there is the wrinkle/twist/angle that you are planning to hire a German to do something in Germany.    I still think that doesn't raise German tax issues. Step 1: German company hires you to do something, you are in USA so no reason to charge the German company Umsatzsteuer or to worry about German income taxes.(you are in USA right, not putting/having an agent/office in Germany to sell your services?)  Step 2: Then you hire a German to do something.  You are in USA so no reason for that German to charge you Umsatzsteuer, though that German is going to have to pay income tax in Germany - which is not your concern.    However, consult a tax advisor and explain in detail the relationship you will have with the influencer. I suspect you are distant enough from the influencer(s) that you are not exposed to any requirements to pay social security taxes or income taxes to Germany, but that's what tax advisors are for and when you try to do something complicated and international that's part of the cost of business.
  13. Is it normal to deduct VAT *before* charging commission?

    Companies in Germany don't get to keep the "VAT", so it seems reasonable they shouldn't need to pay you a commission on the tax they collect and pass on to the government.   In Germany, everyone pays "VAT" on all goods and services.  In the U.S., it's called "sales tax".  It is also known as "Mehrwertsteuer" but is correctly called "Umsatzsteuer".    The rate is usually 19%, but because of the economic disaster caused by Corona containment measures it is 16% through New Year's Eve.    Everyone that sells goods or services (e.g. grocery store or plumber or lawyer) has to pay the German federal government 16% of their revenue (not profit, that's another thing), the Umsatz.  Thus it is Umsatzsteuer.  Consequently, usually prices include the Umsatzsteuer so the customer is paying the good or service seller the money for the tax that the seller will have to pay to the government.    So if a lawyer wants EUR 100 per hour, he will ask the client to pay him EUR 116.  Later he will pay the Umsatzsteuer of EUR 16 to the government.    If a car dealer charges EUR 20,000 for a car, they will ask the buyer to pay EUR 23,200.    If a company (like a car dealership, or a law firm) buys something, e.g. a desk, and pays Umsatzsteuer on it, they can deduct that from the Umsatzsteuer they pay to the government.  So for a business, it's like it can buy things without paying Umsatzsteuer.   So, if a German ad agency charges a client EUR 1,000 and collects EUR 1,160 from the client, usually the ad agency would need to pay the German government EUR 160.  But, if the ad agency bought a laser printer that month and paid EUR 232 for it - with EUR 32 being the Umsatzsteuer; then the ad agency would not pay the government EUR 160, but only EUR 128 (i.e., 160 minus 32).   Usually a German company would charge Umsatzsteuer to all German customers.  But not to customers outside the E.U.  So, a German ad agency that had a USA-based customer would not charge that customer Umsatzsteuer.    If you have a "partner" in Germany that sells something for EUR 100 and collects EUR 116 from the customer, the "partner" is going to have to pay EUR 16 to the German federal government.  Seems fair the "partner" would only pay you a commission on the sales price, the EUR 100.   Frequently in Germany prices will not break out the Umsatzsteuer - but it's there.  If you go to buy a printer, the price tag will not say EUR 200 and then at the cash register you pay EUR 232.  The price tag will say EUR 232, you will pay EUR 232, and the store will send the government EUR 32.
  14.   I agree the page 7 you linked to doesn't look like there is an option.  Maybe there is a different form, or a different version of the declaration on page 7?  Perhaps they are just making it difficult by providing a document only geared toward the 'normal' case, and you need to modify the declaration on page 7.  Naturally, I'm sure any change is going to slow things down as one person consults with a colleague...   The law provides for the option, for those that qualify for certain exceptions.  Below are relevant statute and regulation excerpts.  Also, for info, below is excerpt from Saxon form.   Good luck.   Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG) § 12   (1) Von der Voraussetzung des § 10 Abs. 1 Satz 1 Nr. 4 wird abgesehen, wenn der Ausländer seine bisherige Staatsangehörigkeit nicht oder nur unter besonders schwierigen Bedingungen aufgeben kann. Das ist anzunehmen, wenn   3.  der ausländische Staat die Entlassung aus der Staatsangehörigkeit aus Gründen versagt hat, die der Ausländer nicht zu vertreten hat, oder von unzumutbaren Bedingungen abhängig macht oder über den vollständigen und formgerechten Entlassungsantrag nicht in angemessener Zeit entschieden hat   5. dem Ausländer bei Aufgabe der ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit erhebliche Nachteile insbesondere wirtschaftlicher oder vermögensrechtlicher Art entstehen würden, die über den Verlust der staatsbürgerlichen Rechte hinausgehen, oder       Verwaltungsvorschriften   12.1.2.3.2.1   Eine unzumutbare Bedingung im Sinne des Satzes 2 Nr. 3, 2. Fallgruppe liegt insbesondere vor, wenn die bei der Entlassung zu entrichtenden Gebühren (einschließlich Nebenkosten wie zum Beispiel Beglaubigungskosten) ein durchschnittliches Bruttomonatseinkommen des Einbürgerungsbewerbers übersteigen und mindestens 1 278,23 Euro (umgerechnet von 2 500 DM) betragen.    
  15.   As you likely know, to fit into the StAG § 12(1)(3) exception so you can naturalize and maintain U.S. citizenship your average Bruttomonatseinkommen needs to be less than the U.S. fee of USD 2,350.  (See statute and regulation excerpted below).    In Saxony the Abteilung Staatsangehörigkeits- und Ausländerangelegenheiten gave consideration to the required social contributions (insurance, retirement contributions), as reducing business profit.  But "building a reserve" is not going to be a relevant business expense that lowers your profit.  Find some other business expenses (technology, furniture, marketing) and reduce your annual profit so that when divide by twelve it comes out below the magic number, and hope the dollar increases in value.    And keep us posted on your experiences.     Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG) § 12   (1) Von der Voraussetzung des § 10 Abs. 1 Satz 1 Nr. 4 wird abgesehen, wenn der Ausländer seine bisherige Staatsangehörigkeit nicht oder nur unter besonders schwierigen Bedingungen aufgeben kann. Das ist anzunehmen, wenn   3.  der ausländische Staat die Entlassung aus der Staatsangehörigkeit aus Gründen versagt hat, die der Ausländer nicht zu vertreten hat, oder von unzumutbaren Bedingungen abhängig macht oder über den vollständigen und formgerechten Entlassungsantrag nicht in angemessener Zeit entschieden hat   5. dem Ausländer bei Aufgabe der ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit erhebliche Nachteile insbesondere wirtschaftlicher oder vermögensrechtlicher Art entstehen würden, die über den Verlust der staatsbürgerlichen Rechte hinausgehen, oder       Verwaltungsvorschriften   12.1.2.3.2.1   Eine unzumutbare Bedingung im Sinne des Satzes 2 Nr. 3, 2. Fallgruppe liegt insbesondere vor, wenn die bei der Entlassung zu entrichtenden Gebühren (einschließlich Nebenkosten wie zum Beispiel Beglaubigungskosten) ein durchschnittliches Bruttomonatseinkommen des Einbürgerungsbewerbers übersteigen und mindestens 1 278,23 Euro (umgerechnet von 2 500 DM) betragen.