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About apel

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  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality UK
  1. Employer offering voluntary buy-outs

      Yes, I agree, I over-simplified.   But if you have a large redundancy payment and a small salary in the year (for example because you've taken redundancy), it really can make a big difference.
  2. Employer offering voluntary buy-outs

      Redundancy payments are subject to the Fünftelregelung, which means that, although you pay tax on the whole thing, the tax rate applied is that which would normally be used if the redundancy payment was one-fifth as large. This makes a huge difference if the payment is large.
  3. Einbürgerung for Brits, yes or no?

      Not quite yet.   It's not yet gone through parliament, though I think it's likely that it will.
  4. German returning to BRD after 50 years in UK

    A couple of taxation points about keeping a pied-a-terre in the UK:   If you later sell it at a profit, you will have to pay capital gains tax in the UK (even if then non-resident and with no other taxable income in the UK). I think you can avoid this by spending a minimum number of days in the property each year. There are also a number of significant deductions you can make against CGT, particularly if the property was ever your main residence. Also, gains before 6 April 2015 are exempt.   The gain will also increase your tax rate in Germany on your income taxable in Germany in the year of sale, due to Progressionsvorbehalt.   If you buy a property in the UK whilst non-resident, you have to pay stamp duty at a higher rate for non-residents. This can be very expensive. However, it doesn't apply if it isn't a second property, i.e. if you or your spouse do not own another property. The rules are complicated, and I would suggest understanding them if this situation is likely to be apply.
  5. There are lots of firms advertising on the internet. Costs depend on size of load and which floor to collect from and deliver to.   I recently used Lopa Removals, who I found very efficient. They charged around £700, but it was only 4 cubic metres. There were cheaper rates available, but I wanted delivery with 2 men as I'm on the 3rd floor with no lift. 
  6. Telc B1 Written / Letter Test

    You need 60% for Leseverstehen, Sprachbausteine, Hörverstehen and Schriftlicher Ausdruck combined, and separately 60% for the verbal part.   So for the written parts, you need 60% of 225, i.e. 135 points, to pass. Even if you got no points at all on the letter (which I think is virtually impossible), you could still pass with 135 out of 180 on the other 3 parts.   And my feeling is that the marking is quite generous: as I said above, I got full marks on the letter, and I'm sure there would have been several mistakes in it.   So I wouldn't worry at this stage if you did OK in the other bits - in any case, there's nothing you can do about it now, whilst waiting for the results.
  7. Telc B1 Written / Letter Test

    When I did TELC B1 a few months ago, it was an informal letter - replying to a letter from a "friend". I don't know if that's always the case.   As far as I recall, I drafted it exactly as I would a real letter in such circumstances, i.e. only address and date. The instructions give a list of points they are expecting in the text, and actually remind you not to forget things like date, greeting and closing.   Anyway, I must have got it right, as I got full marks.    
  8.     It seems to be very dependent on where you live.   In my case, it was about 7 weeks between the meeting where I handed in all required documents, and the Einbürgerung certificate being handed over (which is the exact moment of becoming a citizen).   I think I had a very straightforward application, and maybe I was very lucky, but it shows it is still possible.
  9.   There are about 50 questions on history in the full set of 300, so I guess there are likely to be about 5 in the actual test. There are mostly about the Nazi era, the second world war or the DDR. Many are quite easy, though a few are obscure.   Most of the questions are about the constitution, the law, the electoral system and social issues.
  10. In the Einbürgerungstest, there are 33 questions, selected from a full range of 310. Each question is multiple choice, with 4 possible answers. You need 17 correct to pass.   All 310 are published on the internet, with answers.   In the first test in fraufruit's post above, there is a preponderance of questions about the old DDR, which maybe many immigrants wouldn't be too familiar with. Although there are several such questions in the full list (too many in my view), I think the selection of the 33 requires balance between the different topics, and you wouldn't get so many in a real test.   I agree with swimmer that by eliminating obvious wrong choices and with a reasonable amount of background knowledge, it should be straightforward for most people who understand most of the questions to pass. In particular, many of the questions on social issues, seem to have 3 obvious wrong choices!   This is backed up by statistics: on average 98.4% of candidates pass.
  11.   Interesting point.   I have just completed my naturalisation as the spouse of a German, and I was certainly required to do the Einbürgerungstest.   I think the requirement is possibly a consequence of Section 9 Paragraph (1) 2., which in the original German (though not the English translation) uses the same words (deutschen Lebensverhältnisse) as Section 10 Paragraph (1)7., which relates to the Einbürgerungstest. So in order to ensure that the applicant conforms to deutschen Lebensverhältnisse, it is reasonable that the Einbürgerungstest is required as evidence.   In any case, the Einbürgerungstest is hardly a great challenge.
  12. German returning to BRD after 50 years in UK

    In summary, your tax position assuming that you and your wife are both resident only in Germany for tax purposes, in accordance with the double taxation agreement between the UK and Germany:   UK state pensions are taxed in the UK. UK occupational or personal pensions for which contributions have been paid for more than 15 years are taxed in the UK. Any other UK occupational or personal pensions are taxed in Germany. Rental income and capital gains on a UK property are taxed in the UK. Other worldwide interest and investment income (including UK income) is taxed in Germany. Any income taxed in the UK is subject to Progressionsvorbehalt in Germany. This increases the tax rate on any income taxed in Germany to the rate it would have been had that income been German income.   An advantage if you have income in both countries is that you get the tax-free allowance in both.
  13. I'm currently applying for German citizenship, so I will be dual UK/German.   It seems from the above that the advice when travelling to/from the UK is to use German ID on departure from or arrival in Germany, and British ID on departure from or arrival in the UK.   But which details should be entered on the pre-flight information, which is now required - that of the country you're leaving or that for the country you're entering? I guess it depends on which end uses the data.