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About Shenandoah

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  • Location USA
  • Nationality American
  1. Process of property purchase?

    NoahBerlin,   I'll share my experience in buying an apartment from a family friend.  It may not be the same as your situation:   Beginning of September I received a draft copy of the Verhandelt (2-3 weeks before the scheduled meeting with the Notar) for review and comment.  I made a couple small changes/clarifications.  Received back an updated draft copy of the Verhandlelt. End of September 2018 met at the Notar's office with my family friend and the Notar.  The Notar read the contract in it's entirety.  Answered questions along the way.  After reading through everything, I signed, my family friend signed and the Notar signed.  I had the keys after the signing (since it was a family friend). About 2-3 weeks later (mid October) I received the bill from the Notar.  Paid that. Mid November 2018 I received a bill for the land registry court costs.  Paid that. Early December 2018 Notar informed me I could now pay my family friend for the apartment.  Paid him. A couple days later received a bill for the property transfer tax.  Paid that. Mid January 2019 received a bill for shared used of the apartment (family friend can keep some books there).  Paid that. About a week later the final entry was made in the Grundbuch and the property was officially in my name.     So from the time I met with the Notar and signed the Verhandelt to the Grundbuch recording, it was about four months.  I'm not sure if that is fast, normal, or slow.  Hope that helps   S.  
  2. Air Berlin and now Germania and now WOW

    Folks,   Just to follow up.  I contacted Iceland air this morning and they were able to book a flight from Berlin to Keflavik for $140.  They couldn't get me back to Baltimore but could get me to Washington Dulles.  That was fine with me.  The fight from Keflavik to Dulles was $230 for a total of $370.  They said flights were filling up and they could get me back on Thursday, April 4.   An extra day in Berlin is good for me.    I checked Google flights and but flights from Berlin to Baltimore/Washington were $600+.     Thanks.   S.
  3. Air Berlin and now Germania and now WOW

    LeCheese and Catjones,   Thanks for the link.  I flew in to Berlin from Baltimore (BWI) on Wednesday, March 27 on WOW air.  My daughter just texted me and said WOW declared bankruptcy and cancelled all flights.  My return was April 3.  I just completed the information requested on Iceland Air website link.  I'm hoping to hear from them tomorrow or over the weekend.  That is pretty generous of them to offer flights at those prices.  I'm not complaining about being stranded in Berlin since I have a place to stay and the beer is good.  Thanks.   S.
  4. Arico,   The simple answer:   You will need to file German tax return and pay German taxes on the rental income minus expenses.  If you are living in the US, you will file your German tax return as a non-resident/overseas taxpayer.  You will be taxed on ALL the rental income.     If you are living in the US, you will file a schedule E with your US/1040 tax return claiming your rental income (from the German apartment) minus expense.  You will also file a Form 1116 (Foreign tax credit) with your 1040 and claim the taxes you paid on the German return.   Here's an example:  Tax Year 2018 - you buy an apartment in 2018.  You would file a German tax return for tax year 2018 and pay whatever taxes you owe on the rental income minus the expense.  You would also file a US tax return for tax year 2018 and list the German rental income on your schedule E and pay whatever US taxes you owe based on the German rental income minus expenses.  The year in which you buy the apartment you will pay taxes (if there is a profit) in both Germany and the US.  Tax Year 2019 - German tax return is the same as tax year 2018, pay whatever taxes you owe on the rental income minus the expenses.  For the US tax return you would file as you did in tax year 2018 AND file a Form 1116 (Foreign tax credit) listing the German taxes you paid on your 2018 return (you paid the 2018 German taxes in 2019, making them part of your 2019 return).  The Form 1116 credits your German taxes paid on your US tax return.   Depending on your comfort level with US taxes, you might want to talk to an accountant.  Same for the German taxes.     Shenandoah   .  
  5. Gift for assistant to Notary

    Folks,   I know this is probably in the wrong area, but I'm hoping some of the folks that work in the field can respond.   A family member who lives in Germany and is up in age has agreed to sell one of his rented and one of his vacant apartments to us.  We live in the US but come to Germany a couple times a year.  I met with the Notary back in September and signed the Verhandelt.  The buying process has been slowly moving along.     One of the assistants of the Notary has been extremely helpful and has kept us informed of what we need to do in each step.  She also reached out to us when something should have been paid, but hadn't and helped us resolve that with our family member.     We have paid the Notary fee for their services but I would like to get something for the assistant who has been helping us along in the process.  I'm not familiar with what would be an appropriate gift in Germany?  Flowers?  A card with some euros to go out to dinner?  What are some other ideas for things that would be appropriate?  Thank you.   S