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Posts posted by Pandekage

  1. Due to a new concerning medical development I have been referred by my Hausarzt to Neurologie, but I have public insurance and it comes as no surprise the wait time is a half year. Gonna call Neurologie at the university hospital today, but expect the same. As I'm concerned my condition might worsen in a half year (and my Hausarzt hasn't recommended anything else) am I stuck with waiting a half year, or perhaps going in as Selbstzahler? Any other experiences with visiting specialists?


  2. 8 hours ago, Straightpoop said:

    Unlike tax penalties which can be automatically calculated, imposed, assessed and collected by the IRS's computer, FBAR penalties require the involvement of the IRS's carbon-based units, i.e. humans. These are in very short supply.  And, in the extremely unlikely event they write you and ask for penalty money, if you simply say "no", their collection options are those set forth in the Federal Debt Collection Act.  These are slow, cumbersome, inefficient and require lots of man hours and institutional attention; all in short supply.


    The IRS has no budget for such penny ante nonsense.


    When filling out Form 114 you will be prompted to explain your tardiness.


    The Form conveniently has a drop-down menu of excuses.


    Pick the one that applies.


    File it.


    Then go and sin no more.



    Your experience differs from that of the OP in that you apparently had delinquent tax returns to file as well and used whatever benefits the so-called "streamlined procedure" offers to get right with all tax and info filings.

    Welp, that was easier than I expected, one hour and filed for four years. Gotta stop getting shellshock whenever I hear about another IRS requirement.


  3. 11 hours ago, willowhands said:

    When I wrote mine it was more the latter. “Had no idea, I promise to never forget this again etc”

    worked just fine, and my tax people also approved that it was appropriate. 

    Glad it turned out alright. Is this something simple enough to do your/myself, esp. given my situation? i.e. as a student working part time, only last year working full time.


    When I was still panicking after learning about FBAR I contacted the Greenback CPA office and was quoted $100 per year. Not sure if that would really be necessary.


  4. Am I too late?

    I moved to Germany in winter of 2016 for graduate school, transferred to a German bank acct just the minimum required (around €16k give or take, for two years) and had a part time job, but as the gross income did not exceed the IRS specified amount I was informed I wouldn't have to file taxes. I graduated in spring of 2019 and started working, and yes, I filed US federal and state, claiming the foreign tax credit.


    Then I literally just stumbled upon FBAR filing whilst reading an online article, and, well, guess I'm screwed? 2016 and 2017 I held a foreign account >10k USD, perhaps for a year or two the account dipped below 10k as I was finishing my thesis, and then this year it went above 10k again. But the question is: Do I still run the risk of getting penalized for filing the FBAR retroactively for previous years?



  5. I‘m currently working in Germany full time, and while I don‘t have really much savings right now (€11k) I think I have to start working my money in an appreciating manner that at least keeps pace with inflation. My savings is in a Deutsche Bank konto from my student days; I assume the interest rate is abyssmal.


    What are the options for me? Are there any high-interest savings accounts that major banks offer? I‘ve heard of investing in ETFs or whatnot, but I‘ve also heard that as a US citizen most options are closed to me.


  6. I'm covered under TK, unfortunately without supplementary dental insurance, and I was recently informed about a serious case of periodontal disease (Parodontose) and recessed gums. Assuming this is medically necessary, how much does TK cover for the treatment(s)? Couldn't find info on their website.


    And in addition, is it possible or worthwhole to get dental insurance with these preexisting conditions? (I have several minor fillings, as well as a root canal... yeah my teeth are a mess) If so I'm assuming I'd have higher premiums, and severely endangered teeth would not be covered.


  7. 14 hours ago, jeba said:

    I don´t know - my gue feeling is you have a time limited contract and unless you mess up (like not paying rent) it´s her problem where she finds a place, not yours.


    Just googled and my gut feeling seems to be right:


    I found something in my contract: 


    "Dem Untermieter ist bekannt, dass die Untervermieter selbst Mieter sind und dass der Untermieter gegenüber dem Eigentümer der Wohnung und Vermieter keinen Kündigungsschutz genießt."


    What does this mean for me?


  8. 1 hour ago, jeba said:

    A boyfriend isn´t a family member - so I wouldn´t be too worried. Apart from that it´s quite unlikely that she should have a unilateral right of termination.

    Thanks, I'll check with the Mieterverein tomorrow but looks like I don't have to stress too much.


  9. 2 minutes ago, jeba said:

    I don´t know - my gue feeling is you have a time limited contract and unless you mess up (like not paying rent) it´s her problem where she finds a place, not yours.


    Just googled and my gut feeling seems to be right:


    I hope that's true... still, I did read somewhere that there's an exception if the space needs to be given to family members or something. I'd be really pissed if I didn't have Kündigungsrecht but the woman did.


  10. If I can pose a quick legal (and moral question) about a pretty prickly scenario, if you guys don't mind:


    I'm currently a subtenant of a room in a 2er WG; it's furnished and the contract lasts until the end of August. The woman who I'm subletting from is doing a study year abroad, hence the room's availability. I'm living currently with her boyfriend as flatmate.


    Last week the boyfriend informed me (verbally) that due to the corona crisis the woman is going to fly back to Germany at the end of May and will need her room back. Shitty scenario on all sides, but understandable. I open WG-Gesucht back up and go hunting. Finally I find an offer yesterday, I accept (via text), and I'm excited and whatnot and go to inform the boyfriend.


    Surprise! Turns out the girlfriend is actually staying until the end of June, since apparently the authorities are processing her visa and she can stay during. If it's denied, she's departing then, at the end of June. If not, she stays until the end of August as previously specified.


    Sooo that means I apparently have to be on the WG search for TWO additional possible move-out dates, one for June and one for August. I'm generally understanding of the situation, but she's the one who's got a home to return to and I'm the one going to be constantly stressing about finding a place over the next two months. So, the question is, what's the Kündigungsfrist for my situation - limited duration (befristet), furnished WG room? Can I give notice early? If not, can the Vermieter give notice on her side, or can I legally stay until the end of August without worrying about eviction? Thanks so much... I am part of the Mieterverbund so I'm calling first thing tomorrow.


    PS. The contract says nothing about giving notice (Kündigungsrecht), just the limited duration to August.




  11. I'm currently searching for a WG room in my large city, and found on wg-gesucht a decent enough offer for a Zweck-WG. I contacted the flat owner, and we had a pleasant discussion on the phone, after which she invited me to visit and view the WG. Because she doesn't live in the city, the two current residents of the WG showed me around - a bit offstandish, but hey, it's a Zweck-WG. They seemed friendly enough. I decided to accept the offer, and now the first red flag went up when she said she'd send me the contract via mail, and to let her know my current contact details.


    But is this a red flag? It isn't unreasonable that a flat owner doesn't live in the same city as the flat, and given the pandemic isn't inclined to travel over. Still, I wanted to pass this by you guys - does it smell of a scam, and should I insist on a particular procedure for the contract, security deposit, key transfer? Should I insist on returning the signed contract in person?


  12. Partly due to being pretty tired of WG living, and partly because I don't wanna sign a crapload of contracts myself, I've been looking at possibilities for microapartments or studio apartment complexes in Hamburg as an option, as I have to find a new place in a month. I'm currently seriously considering this place:

    While the rent is certainly higher than in a WG, it follows the 1/3 salary rule, plus it's one rent that's all-inclusive.

    I am wondering if there are other such complexes available in Hamburg.


  13. Currently WG hunting again, and some good offers require that I take up the lease from a departing subtenant (become a Nachmieter). If I understand correctly, I'll be dealing with the landlord directly with the contracts, and the notice period is extended to 3 months, which if I'm working here for at least a year should be fine if I plan well enough. But are there any hidden caveats and things I should know about being Nachmieter for a room in a WG? If and when I do decide to leave and give 3 months notice, am I on the hook for finding a replacement tenant, or does the landlord do that?


    Addendum: On sites, say, WG Gesucht, when it's stated that they want a Nachmieter, do they want a 1) Nachmieter for that room only, or 2) Nachmieter as Hauptmieter for the entire WG, i.e. if the other tenants then bail I'm on the hook for finding replacements for all the rooms and pay all the rent?


  14. I've been working and living in Hamburg for almost a year now; unfortunately my interim WG in central Hamburg is about to end, and I have 1-2 months to find a new place. Thought I'd give commuting a chance and am looking at WG offers in neighboring cities in Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein.


    As I've just started by researching Lüneburg, the average seems to be around €300-350/mo compared to €610/mo for my current sublet in HH. offers an IC/EC Monatskarte at €209 (not sure if HVV pass included). All in all it seems like an attractive option; costs aren't drastically lower but the housing competition seems lower (searching in Hamburg and Berlin was killer) and I don't mind the commute.


    Thoughts as to what other cities I should look into, especially in terms of comparision between lower rent vs. higher ticket price, and if you're a current commuter into Hamburg, I'd love to hear your story.


  15. On 3/16/2020, 9:37:41, engelchen said:

    I still don't understand why you think going back to the US where you have better career prospects is the worse case scenario.

    Well under normal circumstances I‘d agree with you, but returning to the US unemployed and uninsured in the middle of a pandemic is not a pretty idea. It‘d be optimistic to assume our crisis‘ll be over by August..


  16. 19 minutes ago, engelchen said:

    Students are subject to income tax and pension, but exempt from unemployment and health insurance contributions. If you didn't pay unemployment insurance contributions at that job, it is not considered for the determination of your entitlement. 

    Understood. So I guess I'll be coming up on 1 year (3.2019-4.2020) of unemployment contributions, which according to a quick Google search qualifies me for 6 months of unemployment? I guess that would be adequate if I need to live out my sublet contract to mid August, and then fly back to the US with tail between my legs in the absolute worst case scenario.


    19 minutes ago, engelchen said:

    Why don't you have the pay slips anymore?

    Hmm due to a filing blunder 🙈 I do have the Steuererklärungen from full time work onwards. Hopefully I'm not in hot water over this? I was informed I don't need to file tax returns as an Angestellte..?


  17. 2 hours ago, engelchen said:



    Have you already been employed for more than 12 months in the past 2 years? Only the months where you made unemployment insurance contributions counts.



    From 11.2016 to 3.2019 I was a working student (120 full days/year), afterwards a full time Angestellte. Don't have the pay slips from so far back but I was certainly getting taxed.


  18. Want to get some second opinions here on my situation, and it's two-fold. I'm a non-EU citizen working 9 to 5 at an office here in Hamburg after graduating from a German university; I've already passed my Probezeit. My Kündigungsfrist is 6 weeks now. The office is still clumsily chugging along, but I'm scared as to prospects a month down the line. I expect with my current savings of around €6.5k, in the event of a lay-off I have just over six months of emergency funds, but I dunno if I'm eligible for unemployment as a non-citizen. And does the 6 week Kündigungsfrist apply in all cases (short of bankruptcy, I guess?) a.k.a. I will regardless still have 6 weeks of pay if I'm laid off tomorrow.


    And the second question, I'm currently living in a temporary WG sublet, original contract was to end at the end of March, and we agreed to extend it to mid August. While as stated before with the emergency funds I can survive until that contract ends, do you foresee a scenario critical enough that has me unemployed and utterly useless during that entire period? i.e. should I request a more flexible sublet contract, i.e. perhaps month to month?


  19. 6 minutes ago, Metall said:

    Public transport is packed with sniffling and coughing people, like every year.

    On the radio doctors stated you can't tell a mild case of Corona virus apart from a regular cold by the symptoms. Instead, a test is needed.

    I believe we already have way more cases than authorities say, as testing is pretty low in Germany.

    So glad I have a bicycle and a bikeable commute to work.


    Then I checked and I have a flat. Welp into the U-bahn I go.


  20. So I'm currently subleasing a room from another person; the contract ends at the end of March but turns out it's fine to extend it to mid-August. The subletter said he would have a law student friend of his handwrite an addendum to the last page of our sublet contracts and have us sign there. Seems awfully ad-hoc to me, though I don't really have a reason to suspect him of ulterior motives. What's the best way to write in a time extension to a sublease contract?


  21. 8 hours ago, BethAnnBitt said:

    I came home for 2 weeks and am on the flight from DC to Zurich now waiting for takeoff. Economy is 1/4 full and First Class is practically empty.  My connecting domestic flight to DC was 1/3 full.  😮 

    Wonder if you could just request a bump to first class? (if you weren't seated there already)