apel

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About apel

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  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality UK
  1. I use CurrencyFair to transfer money from the UK.  https://www.currencyfair.com   They match transactions between users wanting to transfer in opposite directions. It's much cheaper than normal bank transfers, and I find it works very efficiently.   You can either accept the rate offered on the website or nominate your own rate and wait for a match - this can be fun if you have the time and can stand the stress!
  2. German Capital Gains Tax on Overseas Property

    Thanks very much Panda, very clear and helpful as always.   I really appreciate it, even though I don't like all the answers. Still, it's better to know now than be surprised later.     Are you saying that such a loss cannot be used to offset any gain or income of any type? I wasn't aware of that.
  3. German Capital Gains Tax on Overseas Property

    Hi,   I'm resident in Germany, and thinking of selling my flat in the UK, and I'd like to seek confirmation that I understand the tax position in Germany correctly (or otherwise), with a few extra questions.   I've owned the flat about 6 years, I lived in it for a while, and I use it as a personal base for occasional visits, It has never been rented out, or used by anyone other than myself, family and friends. I expect to make a significant profit on sale.   I think I understand the UK tax position. Under the UK-Germany double tax agreement, the UK has taxation rights, and, as a non-resident in the UK, I must pay UK Capital Gains Tax on the profit, reduced by several deductions. [These deductions are not really relevant to my questions, but if any reader is interested, I can set out my understanding of the UK position.]   I'm aware (from this thread and elsewhere) that the profit from the sale is not directly taxed in Germany, but is included in Progressionsvorbehalt in the year of sale.   Is the amount included in Progressionsvorbehalt the total profit over the full period of ownership (i.e sale price - sale expenses) - (original purchase price - purchase expenses)? Are there any other deductions allowed, as is the case in the UK?  Are all amounts converted from GBP to EUR as at the dates of payment?    I believe that the Progressionsvorbehalt will increase the rate of tax on both my German income and my (German) wife's income.    As I have very little German income, we can presumably elect to be separately taxed - this would reduce the additional German tax on the property sale to virtually nothing, but for that year we would lose the tax allowances for being married. Is that the way it works?   On the other hand, if we are taxed together, and if my wife has a loss on the sale of an inherited German property in the same year, is there any way that this loss can be offset against my Progressionsvorbehalt income?  
  4. What a shame!   I hope your daughter recovers soon, and that you get to make the trip to the UK another time.
  5.   I too have exactly the same package, and I can confirm that this is correct in the UK.   If you're mainly using wifi for data, I'd be inclined not to turn off data or data roaming - I never do. The 1.5 GB data included in the package easily covers occasional data usage, and it can be useful to use data when out and about.
  6.   Yes, and I can confirm that Aldi Talk definitely did not charge me for calls from the UK to UK numbers on my last visit, as they were within my Paket allowance.
  7. Do married couples always owe the tax man?

      I think that's really the problem. The answer must depend on specific individual factors, particularly additional income or allowanc
  8. I have Aldi Talk, and I use it ofter in the UK.   I can confirm what others have said, that the charges are the same as in Germany, and that a Paket will continue to apply.   It's actually a lot better - a call from the UK to a UK number (or indeed to any other EU country) is covered at domestic rates or under the Paket, whereas it would be more expensive to make the same call from Germany.   In addition, you may get better data coverage, because your phone will connect to the best available network in the UK, rather than being restricted to a single network in Germany.
  9. I've been in Germany about 8 years, and I'm at B2 level, but I still find it very difficult to fully understand conversations with many people or TV and radio transmissions. I find it useful to watch German TV with German subtitles.   I'm also in the fortunate position of having a German wife, and we speak mostly in German. That helps a lot.   It gets slowly better, but it is still frustrating how long it takes. For me, it's also an age thing, as I'm well over 60.      
  10. Need to de-register and re-register...

    I'm in the process of sorting out my pensions. I live in Germany and will receive a small German state pension plus a large (by UK standards) UK state pension.   I've just received the document from DRV, which includes my full UK and German history.   It calculates the German points, then how many UK points I would have based on the German yearly average, to come up with a total. It then apportions the total by time to come up with a German points number, which (surprise, surprise) is exactly the same as the original German number! It then uses that to quote my German pension.   I assume there are circumstances where this roundabout method is necessary, but it seems very strange in my case.   The document does not quote the amount of my UK pension, which I can find on the gov.uk website. I understand it will be paid in addition, direct from the UK, as indicated by arunadasi, but I will have to apply for it via DRV.
  11.   This its good advice.   The key point is never to give anyone the opportunity to convert the currency if you don't have to, and if you have to it's probably better for your card company to convert, particularly if you chose the right card.   If at all possible, use a card denominated in the currency of the country you are in (i.e. in your case GBP in N. Ireland and EUR in the republic). Do not accept any offers to convert to the other currency.   Also be aware of how much your card issuers charge for conversion, and consider changing if high. 3% is bad, nil is good but possible.   But also you need to think about which currency you `are using to repay each card, as that might also involve conversion.
  12. The awful truth about Bausparen plans

    I agree that Alexia's strategy would be too conservative for me, but everyone should follow their own principles which are right for them, and I would applaud Alexia for doing so.   My view is that you should never borrow money to invest it, unless (a) you are prepared to accept the potential losses, and (b) you really know what you are doing.   However, I see a mortgage more as a way of deferring the cost of a house purchase than as taking on a big debt, because it is backed by the value of the property. Yes, there are risks, but they are manageable if you and the lender are both sensible (though obviously that wasn't always so).
  13. German Inheritance Laws

    As I understand it, there's an important difference in this regard between Germany and (for example) the UK.   In Germany, the tax-free amount relates to each heir individually. I believe it applies wherever the heir lives.   In the UK, the tax-free amount relates to the estate as a whole. However, on death of a German resident, it would apply only to assets in the UK.   I think this difference in treatment is what makes the whole thing somcomplicated.
  14. German Inheritance Laws

      Thanks very much for correcting me - regrettably I misread your earlier comment.   But am I right in thinking that if I give UK real estate to my UK children, then any inheritance tax in Germany in respect of it would be offset by the inheritance tax payable in the UK? The same would not be true for UK bank accounts or investments.   So if I died in the first 7 years (the UK limit for gifts), that could wipe out the German tax in respect of real estate (because UK inheritance tax is much higher), but if I survive more than 7 but less than 10 years, German tax would be payable if the limit is exceeded.   But in any case I hope to survive a lot longer.
  15. German Inheritance Laws

      I'm thinking about gifts to my children, and I'd like to make sure I understand the implications of this.   I'm a UK citizen, resident in Germany, and (I'm reasonably sure) I'm not domiciled in the UK.   My children are UK citizens, resident in the UK.   I'm thinking about the situation where I make gifts to them now, and whether the gifts count towards the €400 000 German inheritance tax limit if I don't survive 10 years.   My conclusions from the above are: Gift of real estate in the UK: doesn't count towards the German limit, but UK inheritance tax may be payable if I don't survive 7 years Gift from my bank account in Germany: does count towards the German limit, but no UK inheritance tax would be payable Gift from my bank account in the UK: does count towards the German limit, and UK inheritance tax may be payable as well if I don't survive 7 years In the last situation, following my death, my children in the UK, having received a bequest of UK assets from a UK citizen, would have to deal with the German tax authorities if their total bequest exceeds €400 000. Which it probably won't, but who knows.   It would seem sensible if when I die, most of my bank accounts and investments are held in Germany rather than the UK, on the basis that I can't easily avoid German tax, but that would reduce the double taxation in the UK.   Is my understanding of the German aspects of this correct?