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About AlexCLE

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  • Location Stuttgart
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown Cleveland
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1982
  • Interests Working on cars, racing, woodwork, metalwork/fabrication, cycling, camping, family stuff.

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  1. File US or German taxes first?

    Ok, let's see if I learned something or just confused myself further. So in my example with 10k foreign taxes, I should calculate what my taxes would have been in the US on my foreign income and this is the amount I can credit? So if I would have owed only 7k in the US then all of my taxes on foreign income are erased. But then I would still owe taxes on my US-sourced capital gains/dividends/interest, right? But for these I can apply the standard deduction and child tax credits?   edit: I also pay tax in Germany on my US capital gains/dividends/interest. This can be also credited on the 1116 as passive income tax right?
  2. Kleinunternehmer and VAT questions

    Thanks, Panda. I misunderstood the meaning of "innergemeinschaftlichen". I thought this meant INSIDE Germany. Do the same rules apply if I sell a product to an individual outside Germany?
  3. Kleinunternehmer and VAT questions

    Let me clarify. I definitely elected to be treated as a Kleinunternehmer and not charge VAT. This was confirmed in the Elster Fragebogen that I filled out and also by the Finanzamt. This is why I am a bit confused about why I need to still file VAT quarterly. I finally just got a response from the Finanzamt that answers some of my questions: So if I am not charging VAT, what do I enter in the quarterly filing? Only the VAT that I paid?
  4. Kleinunternehmer and VAT questions

    I recently registered a business and it's classified as Kleinunternehmer. I've received USt-IdNr and Steuernummer ID numbers. Now, on to the questions: 1. I understand I cannot charge my customers VAT. However, when I buy things for the business (either product to resell or other supporting equipment like machines) do I have to pay VAT? Sometimes I see prices with and without VAT but generally it's with VAT even if I'm buying from a B2B type business. What determines if I have to pay VAT? 2. If I have to pay VAT when making purchases, can the VAT be refunded? 3. The Finanzamt specified that I have to make my VAT filing quarterly. But if I am not charging VAT then do I just report 0 each time? Or do I need to also report VAT that I paid to other companies?   Thanks!
  5. File US or German taxes first?

    Let's see if I follow. For example, I pay $10.000 in income tax in Germany, from Germany-sourced income. In the US the income tax would have been only $7.000 due to lower tax rates. So using the FTC I would zero out my US income tax and would still have $3.000 to offset taxes on US dividends and capital gains, correct? And if I owe more than $3.000 in taxes on dividends and capital gains I would need other tax credits to reduce this? Like the child tax credit?   On the other hand, the FEIE reduces my income to 0 (I am under the exclusion limit) and then my US taxes are the net of dividend/cap. gains tax - child tax credit - standard deduction?
  6. File US or German taxes first?

    But if I have to pay tax in Germany on my US dividends, wouldn't this negate any tax owed in the US because the German tax rate is higher and I apply the FTC? Oder?   I'll have a look at form 8812.
  7. File US or German taxes first?

    I have 3 minors so I think I am? How does this come into play?
  8. What about pension insurance (gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung)? Does this count as social security also?
  9. File US or German taxes first?

    I have been filing my US taxes first and then German since I get a lot more time for the German filing. I was using the foreign earned income exclusion but I think I will switch to the foreign tax credit since the excess carries over. In this case I think it makes sense that I file German taxes first since I have to pay tax on my US dividend/capital gain income here and this will increase my FTC carryover. Does this make sense? Or is there a better approach?
  10. Import from China to Germany - HELP/ADVICE needed

    The reputable Chinese companies do provide support and warranty, although for sure it's not as easy as having a local dealer. It's 4.000€ vs. 10.000€ for a European machine. I don't have any delusions about what I'm getting, though. The quality is hit or miss. My alternative plan is to build a machine myself with the same components as the Chinese machines and it's just not worth all the extra effort when a complete machine is 4k.
  11. Import from China to Germany - HELP/ADVICE needed

    So how does one figure out what all these costs will be beforehand? I just don't know what I don't know... I'm looking at buying a milling machine from China and they provided me the "HS" code to figure out duties (84659900) and from the Zolltariff website it looks like a charge of 19% VAT and 2,7% Drittlandszollsatz. What else can I expect? Do I need to hire a customs broker? Are there port charges?
  12. Stock market investing in Germany for dummies

    According to this article, registered advisors can still buy the ETFs. "Schwab has also concluded that MiFID rules allow EU residents to have U.S. ETFs bought and sold on their behalf in their accounts by U.S. RIAs." Is a service like Interactive Brokers considered an RIA? I would go through there if there's no additional fee.  
  13. Stock market investing in Germany for dummies

    Thanks for this great summary.   Has anyone that buys EU funds had to deal with the PFIC issue? This is my biggest fear. My plan now is just to keep a US address on file with my broker so I can continue buying US-based ETF's. Is there any reason not to do this? As I see it my other option is to just buy the individual stocks in the ETF's that I want but I think for sufficient diversification this needs to be like 50 or 60 companies, and then I have to manually rebalance.
  14. Stock market investing in Germany for dummies

    Just buy some broad ETF's like total stock market or total international and don't look at it too closely. Beating inflation is no issue long term. 6-8% returns, although not guaranteed, can be expected.
  15. Right but if I don't report it and they look at the source of any US-based capital gains when I file my tax return they would see that it's from banned funds. Or is this not a reasonable risk?