Hi all, I'm new to the forum and desperately in need of help.
Will try to make a long story short. I'm a freelancer and I moved to Germany last January. Up until April my only client was based in England, therefore I invoiced no VAT - I started invoicing & returning it (through Elster) since May on. About 10 days ago I got a letter from the Finanzamt demanding payment of VAT for the timeframe Jan-Apr. They calculated a rounded-up average of my monthly earnings and asked me pay the relevant VAT based on the assumption that I had received it but failed to return it.
Unfortunately I didn't feel confident enough to go to the Finanzamt and clarify the misunderstanding in my pigeon German, so I resorted to a tax advisor. The company was recommended by a couple of folk I know, who were already their clients, had had the same problem with the Finanzamt and got it sorted free of charge, out of courtesy. Basically, I thought it would be relatively cheap - the hourly fee was about 30 € and they just had to send a fax.
The good news is that the Finanzamt acknowledged their request was unjustified. The bad news is that two days ago I got a copy of the fax they sent to the Finanzamt alongside with the bill. I was gobsmacked to find out that single fax + 20 minutes' talk cost me 900 €! Early this morning I went to the Verbraucherzentrale and was told they don't do bills (I wonder what they do then...) and I should talk to a lawyer, which obviously makes no sense as a lawyer would cost me just about the money they'd save me, if not more.
I honestly feel that I'm a victim of fraud and just can't believe that a tax advisor can get away with that in Germany. Does any of you know if there's any action can be taken to object to the payment without consulting a lawyer? Something like a Citizens' Advice Bureau, for example?