JonnyEnglander

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About JonnyEnglander

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  • Location NRW
  • Nationality Biritish
  1. Transnational family in a pandemic world :-(

      I made it ! Ive just arrived back in Germany after 2 months in England. While it was very stressful and lots of time wasted with 2x quarantine, everything was straight forward. I went by car  via Rotterdam- Hull. I was worried about driving a British Reg car with an EU driving licence but I managed to get through without being stopped. I was very relieved to get on the ferry.  I needed a PCR test to get on the ferry and after some research I was advised tat the test centres at airports were the quickest and most efficient so I used Düsseldorf Airport test centre.   I had quarantine in the UK. I booked my car for an MOT on the morning of my first day of freedom and a Boris jab for the afternoon. Car sailed through MOT at a cost of 50 quid rather than the 4500 Euro Opel wanted to get it through a TÜV.    Boris Jab also went OK and contrary to politicians promises, my head didn't explode. I was offered Boris -jab 2 for end of June so stayed just long enough to get it. Ive just checked in the mirror and there is still no sign of my head exploding.   Return journey was by air from Manchester to Düsseldorf. Requirements were a Covid Test before flight and online registration of my journey with the German Government. Luckily an Anotgen Quick test was OK so I booked that for the afternoon before flight. I had heard rumours of long waits so booked it for 3 hours before flight but as it happened everything went quickly.so required to have proof of residency and dont yet have the full biometric electronic residency card. Instead I have a temporary " Fiktionsbescheinigung  " and was worried about crossing the border with it , but as it turned out the airline and Border control accepted it without problem. All the documents were checked carefully.    In summary, a whole lot of stress, but do-able. I wouldn't go through this for a holiday but for anyone with an important reason to travel I would say go for it.  It was a strange experience travelling in a pandemic. The airport is normally packed but was like a ghost town with most shops shut and for the first time ever, no queue at security. There were only about 20 passengers on the plane and all the others looked like students.  All in all it was a very surreal experience. Even airport vending machines were selling covid masks. It felt like I had woken up in the middle of a Hollywood disaster movie.  
  2. Transnational family in a pandemic world :-(

    Yes, it does seem to be the case that some flights are still taking place. Unfortunately I have already had the experience of booking a flight at fantastical cost only to have the airline cancel it and keep the money. The trouble is I want to take my 1.8 Tonnes of scrap metal to the UK where it will magically transform into a motor vehicle upon crossing the border. Its a bit big for hand luggage on the plane although not greatly larger than some of the passengers I have sat next to on previous, flights.    The  usual road routes to the septic Isle are  Rottendam-Hull, Dover-Calais, or Dover-Dunkirk. Using the French routes means driving through Germany, Holland , Belgium , France and UK. That means 5 sets of pretty uniforms to encounter, all of whom have their own individual ideas of what constitutes an "essential reason for travel". Worst of all , while in most countries the government make the law and the Police enforce it, in France its the other way round with everyone in a  uniform making it up as they go along. Its called the "Droit de Idiotes". In September when I last travelled from UK to Germany, the rule was EU residents could transit France. It was even written on the French embassy website. I went Hull-Rottendam and the check in lady confirmed they were carrying a number of sub-happy passengers who had been denied entry to France. Makron says Oui but the Monsieur Gendarm says Non    I'm especially keen to get the car back because there is a huge risk that an EU driver driving a non EU car is a "tax evader". I have read several horror stories of Germans driving Swiss cars and having them confiscated and being presented with a tax bill more than the car is worth. I can't register it here because the TÜV tester recons it was built wrong and the EU approved solution is to dissemble it and build it again using parts which are unfortunately not available. As its 6 years old the manufacturer denies all liability so the best thing to do is get it back to the UK where 5 MOT testers recon its just fine. Obviously I have my excuses for having a UK car in the EU  and hope under the circumstances that I will not be accused of tax evasion, however its always unwise to rely on logic and common sense when dealing with any tax authority. For now I keep it hidden in a garage and won't drive it until the trip home. I bought a German car for less than the "repair" quote on the old one.   As far as I can see, the only thing I can do is wait until non essential travel through Holland is allowed. Currently we are not allowed to even enter Holland unless its officially approved "essential". There are reports that the ferry is not even allowed to dock at Rotterdam although I suspect the reports are wrong. Even so the ferry company say travel only for "essential reasons". All I can do is sit it out and wait until the pandemic is over, which given the immunisation disaster here is unlikely to be this year.    To add to the fun and games, its only a matter of time before one or more governments decide that an officially approved and certified immunisation is required to cross a border. That will probably need a double dose of AstraZeneca in the UK, certified in English  and a double dose of Pfizer in the EU certified auf deutsch.    
  3. I don't suppose I am the only one in the same situation. I normally divide my time half and half between my  Partnerin / Step children / grandchildren in Germany and my Octogenarian parents and wider family and friends in England.    Now we have the Super-Gau of the pandemic with all the worlds media singing its the end of the world and if you step outside your house you will be fined / imprisoned / shot etc.   Has anybody attempted to visit England , post Brexit and if so did you make it there and back, were you arrested / imprisoned / made bankrupt / shot ???    My understanding is that I am allowed to visit my parents if they are dead or if I have "proof" that they are about to be dead but I am not allowed to visit while they are alive and kicking. Being 87 and having a long list of ailments with exotic names is probably not close enough to death to cross a border, where I believe the border police are really looking for evidence of at least Rigor Mortis  if not advanced decomposition.    I have been waiting patiently for things to get better since December for my Christmas visit with my ferry being cancelled numerous times. The plan was to drive through Holland but it seems I am not even allowed to enter Holland without an officially approved excuse.  Instead of things getting better, they are getting worse. Even though in England the pandemic is drawing to an end, it seems very week there is a new restriction or more bureaucracy. The latest is , even if there is a miracle and I can get to England, as well as 2 tests to travel to board the ferry and 2 tests to come home, I apparently am required to have 2 tests while sitting at home on my own in quarantine. It looks like 6 tests per visit at 100 quid a go. Why I need 200 quids worth of tests while sat at home on my own for 2 weeks is a mystery.I have more chance of catching Covid from the person giving the test than achieving anything useful.    Annoyingly , sat on my desk in England, is an invitation for a Boris Jab which I would quite like to have done. Here, as I am what we call in aviation "Priority Zulu" , I expect to get a, carefully tested and approved by the very finest of experts, Eu-jab sometime between Oct 2021 and summer 2022. I realise that the worlds most reliable media says that a Boris Jab will cause me to get a  DVT / grow horns / dematerialise and transport to another dimension, but hey-ho, I'm feeling like being wild and reckless so a Boris Jab might be fun.    To add to the fun, my UK registered car is still here and on the wrong side of the border. I gave up trying to register it here and bought a German car. I was planning on returning my UK car to England before Brexit, but now its stuck here, unused and end of April the MOT expires , so no idea how I will get it home after.  I am terrified to drive anywhere in the EU with the letters GB written on my car.    If anyone can recommend a good place in Calais to buy a rubber dingy or if you know anyone willing to pay 10 grand for 1.8 tons of scrap metal then please let me know.    In the meantime, how do you spell "aaaaaagggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in German ?   Frustration Mode _/END
  4. Moving to Germany before Brexit ?!?

    For the last 16 years I have been living a life in England and Germany travelling every few weeks between the two unhindered and with barely any contact to Bureaucracy with the proviso that I always make sure I am in England for more than 6 months. Since the election this month, this will have to change, and I am thinking the best way to secure my family life is to switch my residency to Germany and make sure I say this side of the channel for 6 month plus each year with UK visits being less than 90 days. Am I correct in thinking  this can be done certainly til 31 Jan 2021 and probably the whole of next year ?     I have read quite a bit on this forum and seen the Government advice  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-germany#eu-exit-updates however there are many things I am unsure of.   My circumstances are mid 50s, self employed ( I'm sorry !!! ) own my own home, fully qualified to UK state pension, have private pension which would be considered very small by most but is a fortune to me.  Currently I am not married to my long term German Partnerin / Lebensgefährtin and while this may well change, I don't want it to change because of bureaucratic expediency.  Most of my income comes from England and this will not change if I switch residency to Germany and for that reason I need to maintain a home in the UK and spend considerable time there. The plan is 5 1/2 months a year spread over numerous trips.   My biggest uncertainty is my house which is paid for and I have lived at for over 20 years. I paid 60k and it is now worth 200k. Correct me if I am wrong but the moment I become resident in Germany , my home becomes a "second home" which , after a period of tie is liable to Capital Gains Tax ( Kapitalzuwachssteuer ) . My understanding is this is a UK liability for the first 5 years and subject to UK rules which allow a period where you can sell the house.  If I keep it , which I would like to do, what are the German rules if and when I sell it at some future point. How would they count the gain, would it be from when I become resident in Germany or when I bought the house in 1998?   Next uncertainty is the car. For normal people its a case of move, swap driving licence, swap car headlights, change random pointless parts as directed by TÜV tester and register in Germany.   I have 3 cars, 1 of which is for sale. 1 is a classic car which will stay in England until at some point old age forces me to abandon an English residence and then my every day car .  If my car stays in England can I leave it registered as a UK vehicle?  If I do that, can I still drive it in Germany for less than 6 months? I read a horror story of a German borrowing a Swiss friends car which was confiscated and he was given a bill based on the new cars Tax and duties, so am wary of this. On the other hand as soon as I register my right hand car in Germany it will become worthless and as a self employed person the requirement to give a 1 or 2 year guarantee on vehicle sales, means I could never sell it, only auction or PX  for buttons, hence I would rather keep it as a UK car. Also headlights will be 1500 to 2 grand. I guess the least cost and least stress option is, take a loss , sell it and buy a German car.   Oh another question, if I move some or all my possessions to Germany after brexit  is there tax / import duties to pay. My assumption is with a free trade deal no and without yes and in the event of the later, best option is to sell / give away everything in the UK and buy new in Germany.    Last uncertainty - UK private pensions savings. I have a 5 figure sum in 2 UK pensions. Currently they mature about 15 years  and I am free to choose an annuity or take part as a limp sum. They are intended for an annuity which in the UK would be tax free except where the resulting income goes above the 10k tax threshold. Would these be treated the same in Germany or would they be treated as a 5 figure income in the year they mature and result in loosing most of my pension to tax in one swoop?    Sorry, just remembered yet another question. I am UK registered for VAT and sell to German customers on the reverse charge procedure. My local German Steueramt knows about me and is happy. I will no doubt need to register for German MwSt as I register for tax ( I will use a Steuerberater ) Should I keep my UK VAT registration for UK customers or deregister. I am worried if I retain a UK VAT registration HMRC might want income TAX from UK earnings. Perhaps I should form a Ltd co for UK income ?