SteveHarris

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About SteveHarris

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality US
  1. I need a Steuernummer fast for Kita Gutschein application

    Huge huge thanks, PandaMunich! I think we will avoid doing further active business through the LLC, at least for this year.  
  2. I need a Steuernummer fast for Kita Gutschein application

    Just to clarify: If I let the LLC go inactive except for royalty agreements back in the U.S., then I avoid getting the LLC Steuernummer, but still declare the LLC income on both US and German tax returns. That's no problem, as LLC income will be tiny anyway.    Will operating the LLC in this way create significant extra work (and fees) for my Steuerberater?  Or does he simply add a line for the LLC income on the Anlage S, and that's it?  I could pretty easily assign some expenses to the LLC and make the LLC income zero.  Would I then need to report it at all on my German tax return?  I know I would still have to file the LLC return with the IRS.   By the way, I've contacted 20+ English-speaking Steuerberaters, and only one has availability (the guy who wanted to charge me 500 euros to analyze the Fragebogen).      
  3. I need a Steuernummer fast for Kita Gutschein application

    Also: regardless of whether royalty agreements are with LLC or us, do we list them on our German tax return?  These are for film distribution (iTunes, Amazon, etc) in USA only. 
  4. I need a Steuernummer fast for Kita Gutschein application

    Thank you, PandaMunich. Yes with everything involved, I am beginning to think that we should just start billing as individuals. If the LLC continues to exist in the US, but is not conducting any business activity in the Germany (no work conducted in Germany, no German clients), do I still need to get it in German system?  The only reason it would be convenient to keep LLC: We made a feature film a couple years ago, and some of our distribution contracts are with the LLC. Those contracts result in some royalty payments, although they represent less than 5% of our income. It's really very little money. It would be a pain to re-draw all those contracts.  We would cease using the LLC for anything except those continuing contracts.  Can we avoid getting a Steuernummer for the LLC?  Will Finanzamt come after me when they see K-1 form for the LLC on our IRS returns in US?    
  5. I need a Steuernummer fast for Kita Gutschein application

    HUGE thanks, PandaMunich.  Sounds like call to Kathleen Parker is in order.  However, I worry that the additional processing of the Fragebogen for the LLC will slow down the process, and then we won't have the Steuernummern in time to get the Gutschein. If we miss out on our spot at the Kita, we will be quite desperate.   1) Will the LLC Fragebogen slow down the process?  Assuming we can get all three Fragebögen and certified translation ASAP?    2) Is it possible to submit two Fragebögen for my wife and myself now, and not include the LLC info on it?  Then later submit the LLC Fragebogen and somehow amend the Fragebogen for the two of us, to show we are partners in the Personengesellschaft? We can refrain from invoicing as the LLC until we submit the LLC Fragebogen.  Our clients don't care, so we can just bill as individuals until the German paperwork is settled. Then come tax time, we can show income from both individual work and LLC work.     3) If the LLC gets classified as a Kapitalgesellschaft, then we could stop using it for invoicing and just become individual freelancers.  The LLC will show income from Jan-April 2019, before we moved to Germany. From May 1 onwards, we would only bill as individuals. Are there any implications to this I need to be aware of?     4) The Schoeneberg Finanzamt has an information center that supposedly is there to "answer your tax questions."  I emailed them about coming on 31.05 and got a prompt reply to swing by. My initial idea was to go to the info center with an interpreter and have them review our Fragebögen before submitting. But from what you say, we should avoid this?  Also 31.05 is tax day ... is it going to be a nuthouse at the Finanzamt?  
  6. I'm American, moving to Germany (Berlin) in one week. JFK Kita is holding a spot for our 3-year-old son, but we need to get a full-time Kita Gutschein before August 1. My wife and I are both self-employed as filmmakers, working together in an LLC partnership, registered in U.S. I understand that we would need to be registered as freelancers with Steuernummern, to prove that we are self-employed and need the full-time child care. The Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung asks if applicant is working as part of a partnership, and to include the partnership agreement.   I am concerned that including our U.S. partnership information on the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung will delay the processing, as the partnership agreement (which is in English) will require extra scrutiny by the authorities. Does this sound right? What time frame should I expect to receive the Steuernummer(n)? I need it by July.  I am also aware, via other posts on Toytown, that a U.S. LLC can trigger tax traps if it doesn't qualify as a partnership in Germany. I hope we will qualify, as we meet almost every criteria listed here: https://scheller-international.com/blog-beitraege/llc-limited-liability-company-and-german-taxation.html  The only qualifications we don't meet would apply to every LLC: limited liability and requirement to officially register the business.    I'm considering: - Apply for Steurnummer with LLC information included. Hope that it comes through before August for the Gutschein. (Will the LLC info really delay the process that much?)  If LLC fails German partnership test, then stop billing through the LLC and just operate as individuals. Would that work, or do we have to re-apply for Steurnummer without LLC?  I'm not clear if the Steuernummer then belongs to the partnership (like EIN in America), or to the individuals? - Apply for Steurnummer omitting LLC info, hoping that this fast tracks the processing.  Once we have the Gutschein, re-apply for Steurnummer with LLC included.  Is this possible? Advisable?  What are implications?   - Go to Jugendamt with letter from Steuerberater stating that we are indeed self-employed, our Steuernummer application is in process but is taking awhile because we have a U.S. LLC.  Also state that our family doesn't speak German, so please give us a full-time Gutschein so our son can assimilate.  What are my chances? Would a Steuerberater provide such a letter? At what cost?   I have been in contact with a Steuerberater, who said he would charge me 2-3 hours (400-600 euros plus VAT) to analyze the LLC operating agreement to see whether it qualified as a partnership in Germany. Our operating agreement is 2 pages long and basically says the partnership is the two of us, no other partners allowed, we split everything 50/50, and the LLC dissolves as soon as one of us leaves (by choice or by death/incapacitation). I outlined the three options above (including the letter), but he was very vague in his response. Kept pressing for the paid service. Can't blame him, guy has to make a living. Hence, I'm here.   Other info:   - Our clients are all in the U.S., and we have no immediate need to bill any customers in Germany.   - We are applying to KSK as soon as we can. Our track record of invoices is all through our LLC, so it would make sense that we continue to operate through it while in Germany.  I'm not clear whether our LLC needs to be officially registered in Germany before we apply to KSK.   Thanks all. I'm sure I've shown the depths of my cluelessness multiple times in this post, feel free to pile on. : )    
  7. Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

    What about this?  Cigna Global, purchased in conjunction with Pflegepflichtversicherung. https://www.ericon-ins.de/personal-insurances/health/private-international/ Says it meets "German standard" and is approved by BaFin, but is cheaper than German insurance. Is there a catch?
  8. Künstlersozialkasse and Advertising Industry - Do I qualify?

    Re: why would I move to Germany?!!  I've already spent a couple years as a "digital nomad", living abroad while freelancing remotely for my clients in U.S. They don't really care where I am. So I'll just continue working for them, making the same amount of money. And hopefully develop my artistic career too. : ) Compared to my hometown of NYC, Berlin offers vastly cheaper rent (1/3 the cost), cheaper childcare (free vs $1000+/month), cheaper groceries, and a great artist community with gov't support.   Oh yeah, and it's an amazing adventure!  But yeah, I'm gathering my taxes are gonna be higher and this health insurance thing is a headscratcher. : ) I really appreciate everyone chiming in, I feel like I'm hanging out at the bar with a bunch of expats.
  9. Künstlersozialkasse and Advertising Industry - Do I qualify?

    If you eventually wanted to retire back in the U.S., I'm guessing you could get Medicare, which is free?  Here's our plan, it's a subsidized option that's a step above Medicaid. $20/month/person. 0 deductible, co-pays $25 - $50 for most stuff. https://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/essentialplan It's funded by the state but administrated by private insurers.  In my case, anywhere that accepts Empire BlueCross BlueShield works for us. At the time I applied, my income was right at the limit; they only verify income once per year, based on last three months earnings. When my wife was pregnant, our income was higher, so we were on a Silver Plan (also subsidized by the state, about $320 per month for our family). And as for your friend, yeah, I think it varies vastly by state and by each person's income.     
  10. Künstlersozialkasse and Advertising Industry - Do I qualify?

    Haha, in my situation Obamacare in New York City is waaaaaay cheaper than German system.  I currently pay 60USD per month for my whole family, for good coverage. Through healthcare exchanges I can compare dozens of plans with a click and take my pick. Also no insurance companies are allowed to preclude pre-existing conditions. Of course if Trump has his way that could change. 
  11. Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

    By the way, I really appreciate everyone taking the time to advise me!  You guys rock. Also I get a good impression from Keith Tanner; he's been very helpful. Just trying to seek all available info to make an informed decision!
  12. Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

    It's known as a second opinion. : ) I would never buy insurance in U.S. only considering two options provided by a single broker. Looking through the Hanse Merkur plan revealed a higher deductible version that Keith did not mention to me in his initial email.  Also Starshollow himself (Tanner's co-worker) mentioned international plans that would be legal on another Toytown thread; Tanner said these options were of questionable legality. So it's all  far from straightforward.  I'm seeking out all the info that I can.   Yesterday I wrote to several brokers including John Gunn and Spectrum, so waiting to hear now.    
  13. Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

    Maybe a better question is, for my situation (EU spouse, freelancer), what is the absolute cheapest private insurance I could get that would pass German legal standard?  High deductible is fine for me. I don't need dental or mental health cover. Just the absolute essential.  I could possibly go bare bones for myself, something in between for my wife, and comprehensive for my son. The policy Keith quoted me was 150 euro/month for my son, so that would probably be okay for him. But if I could cut corners (but be legal) for the parents, I'd want to consider that.
  14. Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

    My understanding is that a travel insurance like Mawista would cover exactly that kind of accident.  I may have to pay out of pocket but would then get reimbursed. Or am I misunderstanding?  I've corresponded with expats who had MRIs, pregnancy, delivery, hospitalization, etc. covered by their travel insurance. Maybe I'm missing something?