chrisv_7

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Posts posted by chrisv_7


  1. On 10/18/2019, 1:34:23, cballert said:

    Hello all,

    Before I start a new forum topic, I'll post here to see if anyone can help me out.

     

    I'm from Michigan and I've been living in Augsburg for the past seven years - and decided that with my new job in the automotive industry, I should finally exchange my driver's license.

     

    I've translated my driver's license, driver's record, and even a letter from the state of Michigan stating that my driver's license (in this case Fahrerlaubnis) was originally issued back in 2003.

     

    Right now, there's only one sentence standing between me and being able to convert my license.

     

    Because DLs in Michigan are renewed every four years (the current one was issued in 2017), the Führerscheinstelle in Augsburg wants a letter from the Michigan DMV stating that "Die Fahrerlaubnis wurde nicht unterbrochen, da lediglich der abgelaufene Führerschein durch einen neuen Führerschein ersetzt wurde."

    I've already spoken with the State of Michigan, and they said that they wouldn't be able to write this because there is no 'Fahrerlaubnis' or how I translated it "the ability or authorization to drive."

     

    I already pointed out to the Augsburg DMV that my translated driver's record states that my 'Fahrerlaubnis ist gültig,' that the current driver's license (Führerschein) was renewed, and that the record would have stated if anything was suspended. Augsburg didn't budge and said that everyone else has been able to get this sentence, so it shouldn't be a problem for me.

     

    Has anyone run into this issue? And if so, how was this resolved?

    @cballert -- any update on this?

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  2. On 4/13/2021, 9:46:09, APATWA1988 said:

    Thanks for your feedback. 

     

    I checked my tax documents from Germany and realized that I paid income tax on gross income minus the standard deduction. So you are right that the pension contribution is already taxed. 

     

    So even though certain standard deductions for pension were taken during tax filing, I don't owe any taxes on that amount?

     

    Just trying to clarify before I file my taxes in US. 

     

    Thanks. 

    as far as I know, there are no additional tax liabilities. My CPA did my taxes in the US and he didn't mention anything. 

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  3. On 12/21/2020, 7:23:13, justjfer said:

    Thought I'd share my experiences here on getting a German pension refund. I don't have any background in this, so not any sort of advice / I'm just an internet rando.

     

    I'm a US citizen who lived in Munich for a little under a year, during which I worked for a German company. I then moved away, and after two years of being back in the US with no intention of returning to the EU, I filled out my application.

     

    My local German embassy directed me to this URL, which has the forms I completed: https://www.germany.info/us-en/service/07-Pension/pension-refund/905438

     

    I filled out two forms, V901 “Antrag auf Beitragserstattung bei Auslandsaufenthalt" (to request my pension refund) and A9060 “Lebens- und Staatsangehörigkeitsbescheinigung" (to verify my citizenship). I did not complete A1312 “Zahlungserklärung”, as I still had my German bank account open and didn't need to request one from abroad. That said, if you need a deposit into a US bank account, you would need it.

     

    For form V901, some questions that were tougher to answer at first:

    5.1 Has a German insurance record already been issued? (I answered no -- I didn't receive any sort of form, at first I thought it may have been my insurance card, but it isn't)

    6.3 Are you currently liable to pay contributions to a state pension insurance scheme outside Germany (I answered yes, as I pay into Social Security)

     

    I had both V901 and A9060 notarized at my local Bank of America branch for free before I sent the document off with:

    • copies of my passport (+ copy of my blue card)
    • my Meldebescheinigung
    • my Lohnsteuerbescheinigung
    • copies of my initial registration and deregistration forms from Germany (Anmeldung, Abmeldung)
    • copy of my German social insurance card
    • (I forget, but potentially) my employment contract and/or my rental contract

    I mailed these documents to Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nord (Friedrich-Ebert-Damm 245 22159 Hamburg) on Oct 6, 2020. I received a piece of mail back (at my US address) on Nov 5, 2020 with a form where I had to confirm that I wished to receive a refund.

     

    I mailed this form back from the East Coast of the US two days later and received the money in my German bank account on Nov 24, 2020. I additionally received a confirmation in the mail of the deposit on Dec 21.

     

    Hope this helps! Doing this myself saved me a few hundred euros.

     @justjfer -- thanks for the update, this will benefit the community 

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  4. On 7/5/2021, 9:33:43, jennyjennyMK said:

    Has anyone used any of the pension refund assistance companies out of Germany to assist? I really don't want to since I already filed and did all of the work myself. But I am having a hard time getting the DRV to correspond with me. My paperwork was filed ages ago and I still do not have a deposit in my account.

    I had a friend who used such a service, i believe he had to pay 30% of the refund to them. Not worth it in my opinion, if you've already filed. They don't have any additional leverage. With the pandemic, bureaucracy takes a bit more time. Just be patient and keep sending them emails every 2 months.   

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  5. On 7/5/2021, 9:33:43, jennyjennyMK said:

    Has anyone used any of the pension refund assistance companies out of Germany to assist? I really don't want to since I already filed and did all of the work myself. But I am having a hard time getting the DRV to correspond with me. My paperwork was filed ages ago and I still do not have a deposit in my account.

    I had a friend who used such a service, i believe he had to pay 30% of the refund to them. Not worth it in my opinion, if you've already filed. They don't have any additional leverage. With the pandemic, bureaucracy takes a bit more time. Just be patient and keep sending them emails every 2 months.   

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  6. On 7/9/2021, 9:56:37, Leila2014 said:

    Hi there:) I know that time has passed since you completed and turned in for your retirement funds and this is my question as well that you wrote above - did you have to declare this income in your US taxes - I had heard that it is money we wouldn't be taxed on but I am confused and also wondering if I should select to put it in my German bank account which I still have active over there or if I should have it deposited to my US bank account. I am thinking US but just wasn't sure how taxes work on it. Thanks for any help!  Also - I saw other people said about getting it certified by the German consulate - I just showed my passport to a notary and got that section stamped on the V0901 refund application form and then I had copies of our passport to include...now wondering if they should have stamped the actual passport copies rather than the section in the form. Ahhh - I want to make sure I do it correct so I don't get it sent back. ANY help/reflections from you would be much appreciated. Thanks! 

    You can do either, based on multiple sources on this forum it appears there is no additional tax liability in the US. My taxes were done by my CPA and he didn't mention any additional tax liability. 

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  7. On 7/26/2021, 1:20:47, jennyjennyMK said:

     

    With my husbands return we made the deposits over a few months from our german to USA bank account. The US already taxed that money when we filed our taxes so I do not believe it would need to be taxed again.

     

    I wish this forum was a little more active because I do need some help. I did all the forms for my husband and the whole process barely look 6 months, and during the pandemic. The DRV however has been jerking me around for over a year. I sent final paperwork Jan 1, they received on the 7th. I have sent so many emails inquiring about the status and just today I received a letter that they need info about the child rearing period that is about 20 pages long! I never even checked that box i the initial application.

    With the pandemic, things are probably worse. Just send a response that this form isn't applicable and keep emailing them. There is no way around the bureaucracy.  

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  8. On 7/9/2021, 9:56:37, Leila2014 said:

    Hi there:) I know that time has passed since you completed and turned in for your retirement funds and this is my question as well that you wrote above - did you have to declare this income in your US taxes - I had heard that it is money we wouldn't be taxed on but I am confused and also wondering if I should select to put it in my German bank account which I still have active over there or if I should have it deposited to my US bank account. I am thinking US but just wasn't sure how taxes work on it. Thanks for any help!  Also - I saw other people said about getting it certified by the German consulate - I just showed my passport to a notary and got that section stamped on the V0901 refund application form and then I had copies of our passport to include...now wondering if they should have stamped the actual passport copies rather than the section in the form. Ahhh - I want to make sure I do it correct so I don't get it sent back. ANY help/reflections from you would be much appreciated. Thanks! 

    I used the German consulate as that was recommended by the DRV. You may be able to manage with a confirmation from a notary. 

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  9. On 11/2/2018, 8:51:13, Starshollow said:

     

    This is extremely interesting - thank you. Common lore - and also a large number of info, threads and even essays about this topic point out that due to the German-US bilateral social security agreement no such refunds can be made. thanks for correcting this and giving a real-life example. That is going to help a lot of people!!!!

     

    Cheerio

     

    I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.

    Glad this helped! I came across a lot of such threads too but looks like they were alternative facts :D 

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  10. On 8/16/2020, 11:20:50, durianfan said:
    I am trying to fill out the forms to reclaim the German pension. I am an American citizen and I worked in Germany from 2016-2018. 
     
    I have filled out the V0901 form but I'm not sure about a few items on it.
     
     
    5.1 and 5.2 - I am not sure about this one - I have ticked 'no' but that might be incorrect. I'm not sure if a German insurance record has been issued. Would that be health insurance? I had TK insurance. 5.2 also asks about what pension insurance scheme - again, I'm not sure what to put here. -- Read the posts
     
    12 - It mentions a "stamp" at the bottom. I'm unclear what they are asking for. -- From the DE consulate
     
    13 - This item mentions sending original documents. What original documents do I need to send? It was my understanding that I only needed to send my de-registration along with this application and the social security documents. -- The DE consulate can certify the copies. 
     
    Also, I would like to know what documents I need notarized, and if this has to be done by a German consulate, or can these be notarized by another authority, such as a bank or a post office where notaries can be found. -- Read the posts
     
    Lastly, do I need to send a certificate of total contributions number (Aufrechnungsbescheinigungen Nummer)? I don't know what this is. -- No Idea, send what is applicable to you. All the requests may not be applicable. 

    See comments above. 

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  11. On 10/18/2020, 12:25:26, Omda said:

     

    @Omda You need to pay a fee to get a response from Theo now :D 

     

    Such companies are the reason I wrote this post as people are paying thousands of Euros for people filling out forms. In different threads you will find misleading and confusing information which is probably done so that people go for such services in desperations.

     

    My post was a best effort basis based on information I received and I quoted sources wherever I could. I never claimed that all potential use cases have been covered by a 1 page blog (which should be obvious). This process worked for me and I shared it so others could benefit when moving out of Germany as it can be a stressful period and I hoped to make the process a little easier with this post. Anyone starting this process needs to use the info I provided as a starting point and then use the official website to research their individual situation.

    I request everyone to actively post your experience so others benefit. Considering everything going on around the world, a helping hand from strangers would spread some love and hope. 

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  12. On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2018‎ ‎2‎:‎49‎:‎30‎, invisiman88 said:

    For the second question, if you have contributed to or still contribute to any nation on the list of nations (which includes the US) then the answer must be "Yes." As I mentioned in my other post, I think this has more to do with determining "years of contribution" for the pensions in the agreement states, i.e. Social Security in the US. They allow you to use years spent contributing to state pensions in other countries as though it were paid to the US (or whichever country in which you live).

     

    As mentioned, please always confirm with DRB; it's free and quick by email.

     

    I don't think that this is the purpose of the question 6.1 because "years of contribution" would only be useful to get benefits in an agreement state before you have fulfilled the eligibility requirements to gain benefits. More details are available in my post above. It also would not make sense for Germany to get that info when you are asking for a refund as their obligation ends once you receive your refund.

     

    I know from my German colleagues who have worked in the other EU countries can combine the pension contributions in different EU countries to receive one pension payment from Germany when they retire. It doesn't look like this question is for a similar purpose for the US either since you "invisiman88" did receive your refund in the US where you are contributing towards Social Security.

     

    I think we do have two clear examples, (1) Question 6.1 being answered as "Yes" for US Social Security and then receiving the refund. (2) In my example, I marked this question as "No" and DRB had all other information that identified me as working in the US (which automatically means that one is contributing towards Social Security) and I did get a refund too. If someone has more knowledgeable information that can be referenced then please do post as it will help the community.

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  13. On ‎6‎/‎7‎/‎2018‎ ‎12‎:‎17‎:‎59‎, Lizzievn said:

    Hi everyone,

     

    My family lived in Germany for 2 years and we have come back our home country for more than 3 years. We are having troubles filling form V901 and fortunately, we found this thread. :)

     

    As in the above information, I choose answer "No" to question 5.1 : Has a German insurance record already been issued? Since we did not receive anything like that.

     

    However, regarding the question 5.2, we are not sure how to answer: Do you have (other) contribution and/or employment periods in Germany (e.g. as apprentice, salaried employee, wage earner, mining employee, seaman, self-employed person, artist, person performing compulsory military service or alternative non-military service, person performing federal volunteer service, recipient of wage replacement benefits or early retirement pension, person providing nursing care since 1. April 1995, carrying out insignificant employment since 1. April 1999)?

    We understand that here we fill in the job my husband took at University during our time in Germany? And health insurance fund is the AOK Baden-Wurttemberg and pension insurance scheme is Rentenversicherungs-traeger Baden-Wurttemberg. Is that correct?

     

    And about the documents sent along with V901, we cannot find Social Security Record Booklet or relevant electronic vouchers from employer ( probably we did not receive it). May we send one of my husband "Meldenachweis-Sozialversicherung" that Landesamt fur Besoldung und Versorgung Baden-Wurttemberg sent us every month) ?

     

    Hope to get my questions answered soon. Thank you!

    Hi Lizzievn,

     

    For 5.1 -- I also answered 'No'

     

    For 5.2 -- I also included my details about my job when I did my internship.

    I did not get an answer on this from DRB. The person at the consulate told me that DRB has all the details about the contributions based on your details so if they need more information they will get back to you.

     

    And about the documents sent along with V901 -- I sent the Meldebescheinigung zur Sozialversicherung. I also attached my annual pay statements "LohnKonto" from my firm (I also had one for my internship).

     

    Based on "invisiman88" experience, you may not even need all these documents. Collect as many as you can on a best effort basis and send across.

     

    All the best!

     

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  14. On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2018‎ ‎3‎:‎10‎:‎39‎, jontytyt said:

    May I ask how long you worked in Germany? (I'm trying to figure out how the bilateral agreement between the US and Germany works... I read that to get US work years to count towards German pension requirements, one must have worked at least 18 months in Germany... that's why I'm wondering how long you worked in Germany).

     

    I worked in Germany for 4 years and 5 months. I think what you are referencing is if you want to be eligible for German Pension benefits before completing the 5 year contribution requirement then your contribution in the US can be counted in totality to provide partial benefits in Germany before completion of the mandated eligibility period in Germany.

     

    I just looked at the SSA website and it states the following,

    International Social Security agreements, often called "Totalization agreements," have two main purposes. First, they eliminate dual Social Security taxation, the situation that occurs when a worker from one country works in another country and is required to pay Social Security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. Second, the agreements help fill gaps in benefit protection for workers who have divided their careers between the United States and another country.

     

    Workers who have divided their careers between the United States and a foreign country sometimes fail to qualify for retirement, survivors or disability insurance benefits (pensions) from one or both countries because they have not worked long enough or recently enough to meet minimum eligibility requirements. Under an agreement, such workers may qualify for partial U.S. or foreign benefits based on combined, or "totalized," coverage credits from both countries.

     

    To qualify for benefits under the U.S. Social Security program, a worker must have earned enough work credits, called quarters of coverage, to meet specified "insured status requirements." For example, a worker who attains age 62 in 1991 or later generally needs 40 calendar quarters of coverage to be insured for retirement benefits. Under a Totalization agreement, if a worker has some U.S. coverage but not enough to qualify for benefits, SSA will count periods of coverage that the worker has earned under the Social Security program of an agreement country. In the same way, a country party to an agreement with the United States will take into account a worker's coverage under the U.S. program if it is needed to qualify for that country's Social Security benefits. If the combined credits in the two countries enable the worker to meet the eligibility requirements, a partial benefit can then be paid, which is based on the proportion of the worker's total career completed in the paying country.

     

    The agreements allow SSA to totalize U.S. and foreign coverage credits only if the worker has at least six quarters of U.S. coverage. Similarly, a person may need a minimum amount of coverage under the foreign system in order to have U.S. coverage counted toward meeting the foreign benefit eligibility requirements.

     

    Link: https://www.ssa.gov/international/agreements_overview.html

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  15. On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2018‎ ‎3‎:‎11‎:‎19‎, invisiman88 said:

    I'm a US Citizen living in the US and I got my refund. Either it's possible or the Germans made a mistake...I don't know the Germans to make many mistakes.

    hahaha... Germans making a mistake, never!!!

     

    NOW can people please stop asking if it is possible for the US or not.

     

    Thanks for your input! Will help the community as more example come through this thread.

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  16. On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2018‎ ‎4‎:‎53‎:‎41‎, jontytyt said:

    Thank you again chrisv_7. Regarding the sensitive question below, perhaps we should consider the fact that you are an Indian citizen living in USA (that is the information you provided). I wonder how the rule works for a US citizen. Perhaps it does not matter, but it would be good to have an example of a US citizen posting his/her experience.

     

    •  I thought that was not possible due to bilateral social welfare recognition agreements -- Please stop asking if it is possible for the US as I did receive my refund. 

     

     

    That is true that it may be a factor. I have read of Americans receiving their refund on Toytown, you'll have to dig into the other threads to find those references. If yours does go through or if it doesn't, you should add on to this thread as info for others.

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