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  1.   Hi everyone,   I’ve got quite a specific situation here, but please feel free to merge topics if it’s been covered before.   I’m located in Berlin, married and have the Tax category 5 (husband is 3). I also have permanent residency (he’s German) and unrestricted work activity/permit. We’re both privately insured. Currently I’m not employed but starting with a couple of projects/places soon and hence the questions, as I’d like to figure out what would be the best course of action for me.   I’m looking at doing marketing & /writing for Company A, who is willing to engage me for 20 hours a week. They are quite flexible and have said they can look into employing me OR working with me as a freelancer. As this is part time and I’m privately insured, I’m under the impression that if I were an employee, my net earnings would be complete pittance - after everything is subtracted.    Would it make more sense to register as a freelancer? (and yes, I’d have to figure out whether it’s freiberuflich or selbststandig too). Or would these earnings be about on par, whether employed or freelance?   If I register freelance, my understanding is I’d have to show projects from more than one client, which I could, as I’m also planning on contributing to a friend’s communication’s agency back in London. This is also quite a small possible income, so I need to figure out how to best proceed.    I could also just start as a part-time employee with Company A and treat any other side project as freelance work.    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
  2. 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:  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. : )    
  3. I have a fairly basic question—not sure if someone in the forum or the Wiki has mentioned it. For filing for income taxes for this past year (2018) as a freelancer, should I also file my part-time employment income that I also received during then? Or is this automatically covered?   Also not sure how to factor this in to the income I received from my freelancing work, but wanted to double-check about this.
  4. Hey peeps,   I'm a strong believer in bullet points as a storytelling device in online forums, so here is a breakdown of my current situation:   1. I'm a Brazilian-German citizen who came to Germany one year ago. In Brazil, I was a freelance translator for a European company, and in Germany I kept doing the same as they provided me with steady work and a decent living wage. 2. Since I had never worked in Germany before, I was not eligible for public health insurance. So, with the help of the wonderful John G. from this forum (hi, John!), I signed up for the cheapest available private health insurance option at the time: HanseMerkur. 3. Cheapest available private health insurance option = 350 Euros/month. It was PAINFUL, but I made it work. Until now. 5. Said European company moved the translation operations to Brazil and gradually stopped sending me jobs. Right now, I am virtually unemployed, with no other meaningful source of income, while still having to pay for private insurance. In fact, they just took this month's premium as a direct debit from my account. Ouch. 6. Of course, I'm looking for a job, and relying on savings meanwhile. But they are running out FAST, and I'm not sure I will be able to afford my expenses next month. 7. I am... kind of desperate. I'm working a Minijob to keep things afloat, but of course it's not enough for rent + health insurance. I don't know what to do if I don't find a job within a month or so.   So... what are my options if I don't find a job soon? I can't sign up for public insurance, and it's not legal to just ditch the Krankenkasse. I'm looking into the possibility of changing my Minijob into a part-time contract because this would at least mean partial coverage of my insurance... but not even that is guaranteed. So what does a freelancer do when the tide changes and they suddenly find themselves moneyless? What if I simply cannot afford health insurance anymore? What are my options in the short-term?   This has been keeping me up at night... and the irony of it is I can't even afford to go to the doctor now for stress-related issues because of the goddamned annual deductible of 500 Euros.   Don't trust the freelance fallacy, kids. Find an unbefristeter Arbeitsvertrag.
  5. We are an international relocation company looking for Destination Consultants to help newly arriving expats and their families settle in to Berlin. Home-finding, school search assistance, helping them get wired in to the city with the least possible disruption are all key parts of the role. You must be resourceful, personable, savvy with great people and communication skills. You must have a car, be resident for at least a year and have international experience. Excellent English, both oral and written is essential. Your need to speak German to a level that you can translate for assignees. Knowledge of the local rental market is helpful.  This is a freelance role, project based on assignee packages, lasting 1-5 days.
  6. Hello,   Firstly I apology for starting discussion under such a common title, but after thorough search I couldn't find answers to my particular situation. I have recently moved to Germany and my husband has been granted a Blue Card (he has a job with a german company). As his wife, I've also been allowed a residence permit (different from a Blue Card) and in my Aufenthaltstitel, it states "Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet".   I already have a remote job with an American Company, for which I've been working for the last 2 years. I must say, that I'm not american nor german, I'm argentinean and in Argentina I invoiced this company as a self-employed. I've also payed all the taxes needed in Argentina so that everything is legal and within the rules.   I'm willing to bring my contract to Germany so that my money can be transferred to a german bank account. I've been researching and apparently I should do this by working as a freelancer (Freiberufler). However I've found this very challenging considering all the information I've found and that I'm a foreigner working for a foreign company.   So, here I have a couple of questions that maybe somebody can help me with: 1) Is Freelancer the right thing to do? I'm not an employee of this company, I'm a contractor. However, I do work 100% of my time for this company (40 hours a week) and in my contract I have such things as vacations and LOA agreements. I've read that as a freelancer I'm not supposed to to work more than 80% of time for single employer.   2) If Freelancer is not the right thing to do? Then any idea of what could be the right activity to declare?   3) I have been advised that I may have to pay up to 60% of my income in taxes (including VAT and others). Also pay my own health insurance (right now my husband's company pays mine) . Which means that maybe is not that convenient for me to continue working for an american company. Is that right?   4) Any idea if I need to get a special permission to work as self-employed, considering that it says "Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet" in my Aufenthaltstitel   5) Also considering all the tax maze, I'm truly thinking about continuing paying taxes in Argentina as a self-employed. But I have read that if I live in Germany, even if my contract is in Argentina, I should also pay taxes in Germany! I don't want to pay taxes everywhere , I'd better quit my job and do nothing if I'm gonna get only a few cents for my job after all the taxes     Your help will be very appreciated, since I'm very a little overwhelmed by the tax system here, given my particular situation.   PS: if anybody knows an english speaker steuerberater in the Braunschweig area, I'll appreciate if you can give me any contact details. Thank you.  
  7. Gewerbeschein

    Hi, i have searched endlessly for an answer to this question, but to no avail.   Can someone tell me whether it is possible to work self-employed in two different fields, with the respective two different Gewerbescheins?   Or do Finanzamt and Ordungsamt get funny about that?   I am currently working self-employed as a massage therapist (for which i have my Gewerbeschein), however i would now like to top up my income with more side-line self-employed work as a cleaner. I realize i need a Gewerbeschein for this. Is it a matter of just applying for another at the Ordungsamt and filling in a new Steuererfassung?   Alternatively, could i just have both services put under one Gewerbeschein?     Thanks for any info and advice. 
  8. Non-EU resident here with a bluecard, worked as a regular full-time employee for 2.5 years, got laid off, currently unemployed, but just received 2 freelance offers from 2 different companies and I am planning to take them. I´ll be working in IT/ web design/ UX design.   I went to the KVR to get my residency stuff sorted out since I´ll have to transition from a bluecard to a freelancer visa. I was given a list of required documents I´ll have to present with my application.    - As far as I understand from my research online, there is a difference between a freelancer just providing services to companies (which is what I´m doing) and someone who´s starting their own business. Will I still need to provide all these listed documents such as the business plan, finance plan, revenue forecast, sales and profitability forecast...etc.?? - Are there any services I can reach out for to get help with writing these documents? (very poor German skills here)I´ve heard that tax advisors can do that, but do they actually help you writing all that stuff? Any recommendations or people I can reach out to? - What would be the average fee I´d need to pay for something like that?   Any help would be much appreciated. I was given a 3 week timeframe by the KVR to come up with all that stuff so I´m trying to find a quick solution before my deadline.   Thanks!
  9. Hello everyone! U.S. citizen here. Has anyone here gone through the process of applying for a freelance visa in Dresden? I know that they process visas within hours in Berlin, and I'm curious if there is a similar process in Dresden? Thank you!
  10. Can anyone recommend a Steuerberater, speaking English and proficient in VAT and UK, German and Luxembourg taxes.  Thank you!
  11. Hello community. I read through the various posts on this community regarding my questions, but non seem to be exactly relevant.   So i have a part-time 20hr/week employment contract in a university. I am a non-EU member with a residence permit.   I was offered some consultancy work of 20hr/week for some company. My employer at the university knows about it and doesn't mind it.   I already pay taxes and health insurance and rentensvrsicherung and all other -sicherungs etc.   I asked a person at the Aüslanderamt, from what i can gather she said that i need to bring the freelance contract detailing the hours to work and how much money i will make with them, and send these papers to the Ministry of Employment(?) for approval.   Before submitting those papers i wanted to understand the procedure and its effects? Im aware i will be paying more taxes but how much? is there a limit to what i can earn with that company?   Also anyone know here i can find a steuerberater in Bonn who is willing to deal with with English (my German is Kaput :))?
  12. Hello hello, This has been talked about a bit, but not my exact situation (that I found). Would be happy with any help. I'm a US citizen here on a freelance artist visa, registered only as a dancer. I understood this to mean that I can only work if my contract says 'Dancer' specifically. But I hear of other people invoicing as 'creative services' or something else vague. Is that still possible (however frowned upon)?   And if not, am I able to work a 'mini-job' in something completely unrelated, say, washing dishes? Meaning, are mini-job separate from the rules of my visa because they're not full time?   .Matthew 
  13. Business English trainer

    We are currently looking for English trainer to join our team in the Düsseldorf area. If you are interested, please contact me.
  14. it seems most of the positions in Germany are permanent , even if it is limited by time compared to UK or USA where IT contracting is more  popular   any good websites to search IT  contracting jobs for Germany?
  15. Hi everyone,   My question is about the ability of a company to change the terms of a freelance employment contract when drawing up an extension to that initial agreement.   I have been working with a company on a freelance basis for the last 6 months. They use a major recruitment agency (naming no names) when dealing with contractors as part of their HR process for externals. I signed an initial 3-month contract in spring 2018 then a 3-month extension with the same terms. At the end of 2018 the client asked me to stay on for another 6 months, so we negotiated a modest pay increase and I waited for the extension document.   A couple of days ago i received that doc but the day rate had lowered. When I asked them about the new amount and they told me that it was because of the daily fees they now apply. No mention of these fees before or in the contract, just a lower amount for the day rate this time around. The document explicitly mentioned it being an extension of the original from spring 2018.   Based on that little overview, does anyone have any advice on whether a company can change terms when extending a contract in that way and if there is a reasonable argument to use against the change. I realise it's hard to advise without the details but input is welcome. Not signing the extension isn't really an option financially but removing the fees would be nice if I have the chance!   Thanks in advance     
  16. We are an international relocation company looking for Destination Consultants to help newly arriving expats and their families settle in to Munich. Home-finding, school search assistance, helping them get wired in to the city with the least possible disruption are all key parts of the role. You must be resourceful, personable, savvy with great people and communication skills. You must have a car, be resident for at least a year and have international experience. Excellent English, both oral and written is essential. You need a good level of German to be able to translate for assignees. Knowledge of the local rental market is helpful.  This is a freelance role, project based on assignee packages lasting 1-5 days.
  17. Hi all,   My husband (EU citizen) has been working in DE for 6 months, and the kids (also EU citizenship) and I are joining him on 1 Feb. As a GB citizen (ergo still EU for now) do I for now need to do any more than register at the Bürgeramt?  Also, I am currently a freelance translator in the EU country we are moving from and I plan to continue this form of work in DE (translating into English from my other EU language). As a Brit, if I manage to register as freiberuflich before B-Day, can I just merrily carry on?  
  18. Hello all,   I think I've got a tricky/weird tax situation for 2018, and I'm not really sure how to proceed with my German tax return. This is my first time posting, but I browse here quite a bit and you've already collectively saved me from committing a couple of big blunders - so thanks and cheers!   First, the facts: I'm a dual citizen of the US and Italy. I moved to Germany in August of 2016 to do a Master's degree. When I first arrived, I had only a US passport and was given the "standard" student visa. After living here for a couple months, I discovered I had a claim to Italian citizenship via birthright. The process took a while, but my Italian citizenship was (finally!) officially recognized as of June of this year. I've since gotten my Italian passport, updated my Anmeldung, etc. This year will also be my first time dealing with the Finanzamt - before this year, I'd only ever had a Minijob and a tax-free research stipend from my university.   Here's where the fun begins, I think:   1. I've picked up a bit of freelance work this year, and I'm wondering how best to handle that with the FA given that I also had a student visa (i.e., no freelancing allowed) within this same year. The paperwork for my research stipend says that, according to their policy, the university notified the FA of my receipt of the stipend. I don't know exactly what information was given to them, but it's probably safe to assume they were given at least a copy of my US passport and therefore only know me as a US citizen.   1a. Unfortunately, I seem to have done things a bit backwards - I have yet to submit the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung. (I didn't know I needed to register in advance.) I've been finding conflicting advice here and elsewhere about whether this is a huge deal or not. Some claim there's a backdated fine, others have said their late forms were accepted without question - but some of the posts on this are over 10 years old. Does anyone have an idea of what might happen when I submit it? I'd really just like to be prepared.   1b. I also don't yet have anything from my current client that would count as an "invoice" under the German legal definition - and since I haven't even registered yet, certainly not anything with the required Steuer-ID! Due to regulations on their end, my new contract won't be ready until the end of this month, but (as we'd worked together a lot before I moved here and we trust each other implicitly) I've been doing informal off-contract work in the meantime. I had thought of just creating an "invoice" for the purposes of the FA that summarizes the work I've done to date in 2018, my rate, and how many hours I've worked. But if that invoice wasn't created at the time the work was done and was never officially "used," would that count as falsifying records/keeping two sets of books? I'd hate to make the wrong move there. Of course, I'm also not sure how big a deal this is, since (if I've understood everything correctly) invoices aren't submitted directly to the FA and are mostly just for me to keep for my own records, in case I'm ever asked for them.   2. Meanwhile, I've got another separate but related situation going on. In addition to the freelance stuff, I've been working for my academic department all year as Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft on a Minijob basis. During the year, I was approached by a second potential employer who needs the kind of work I specialize in, who also wanted to hire me on a Minijob basis. We began the paperwork process, but she then needed to push out the project until early 2019, and then my citizenship recognition process finally concluded and she decided to just hire me as a freelancer now that it's legal to do so. So, the second Minijob never actually came to be. However, it has had the lasting effect of pushing my WHK job to tax class VI, and it now seems to be stuck there. I tried to resolve this with my school in November, and even though they had me resubmit the paperwork to reflect what really happened, I just got my paycheck for December and it's once again been taxed at the (really stiff) class VI rate. Is there any way to retroactively reclassify it as class I, since it never should have changed at all? Or is my only option to claim all that tax back in the 2018 return?   And to top it all off, I made so little this year that I'm several thousand under the Grundfreibetrag - and that's before deductions!   I'd really appreciate any help or insights you have. I've already tried contacting several Steuerberaters to ask their advice, but every last one of them who responded has declined to take me on, claiming I don't earn enough to justify their services.   Thank you all so much in advance!
  19. Calculating net freelance salary

    Hello,   I am based in Bavaria and thinking about going freelance. Is there any calculator out there can can tell me for a gross salary, how much net I get? I know this one:   but assumes I am being employed by someone. Also, do I need an accountant or can I do everything myself? If I need an accountant, how much do I need to pay him per month in general? I know it depends on the person but are we talking 20-50, 50-100, 100-150?   If you know of any books or online resources in English on going freelancer in Germany, it would be appreciated.   Kind regards,   Paulo Matos