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  1. Freelancer pension and citizenship

    I've read a few articles on these forums but I still don't have an answer. I also realise all the rules might be changing in 2019 and that worries me even more.   I'm a non-german married to a German and moved here on a marriage Visa. I worked as a freelancer for the first year (2017) and chose not to pay into a pension. I am now employed and also freelancing so my employer is paying into the state pension for me. My question is 2 fold.   1. I intend to apply for citizenship towards the end of year 3 (as I'm married to a German and have completed all other requirements this should be fine). Obviously I only have about 8 months of payments in state pension from my current employer. As I was a freelancer before, are they going to make me retroactively pay into the pension to make sure I have a full 3yrs of payments?   2. I'm also intending on going back into full time freelance in the next few months. Am I now required to continue paying into the state pension? How will this affect my eligibility for citizenship? I don't mind either way, it will just affect my budgeting.    Any advice would be welcome. Even the details of an advisor.   Thanks!   Nick
  2. Hi helpful Towtowners!   I urgently need to get a Gewerbeschein in order to invoice Deliveroo for freelance bycycle delivery services rendered since early December 2017. They won't give me any more work until i get this Gewerbeschein, so there is a certain urgency to this as I can't make any money right now.   The key thing is that I only want to register as a freelancer rather than registering a business, because this is not my business it is Deliveroos. I also need to make sure I don't accidentally register a business in the property I own because I have lived in the property since buying it and don't want to needlessly pay capital gains tax when I sell up.   Gewerbe v. Freelancer Registration   Gewerbe?: On the website, you can do a Gewerbe Anmeldung, but I don't want to create a business, I just want to register as a freelancer so I can freelance for Deliveroo and any other company I like.   Key questions:   1 - The following quotations from the website in Apendix A1 ((freelancer v. self-employed) seem to match what I need, so do I just need to fill in the "Fragebogen zur steuerliche Erfassung" form and go to the Finazamt?   2 - Can I just turn up at the Finanzamt and someobody will be able to answer general questions before helping me fill in the form?   3 - How do I register as a freelancer (or do a Gewerbe Anmeldung if I have to) without registering the property I own as the place of business i.e. to avoid paying capital gains tax? N.B. I have just lived here since buying it. @PandaMunich has helped me to clarify this in previous posts. I do pay a monthly fee to a co-working space where I can receive mail, so if I have to register a 'business address' that could be an option.   4 - I don't know if I will earn more than the €17.500 threshold and would prefer to avoid the extra hassle of VAT returns etc. So, if I don't register for VAT but then end up earning more than €17.500 in the year, what happens then?   5 - I actually made my first deliveries in December of 2017, but haven't submitted any invoices yet, so can I just start my tax year from 2018? I don't want to have to submit a tax return for just a few days. In the UK it would go by the invoice date, so that would be fine.   6 - @PandaMunich had some input on a discussion on "Rechtsform des Betriebes" on Toytown and the following was mentioned: "Gruppe 1: natürliche personen" ( This sounds like it might be similar to what I want. Really, I just want to be able to perform any work I wish in a freelance capacity and be taxed accordingly, rather than rgeistering a business and then having to limit myself to whatever was described in that short description.   7 - Is it worth getting a Steuerberater to handle my taxes? If so, how much might I expect to pay?   8 - When it comes to submitting the tax return, will it be a problem for a Steuerberater or Finanzamt official that I'm not submitting any expenes for health insurance (because I don't have any as of yet) (@john g. You might have an inisght into this)   Any help is greatly appreciated.   Appendix:   Appendix A1: Article on difference between being self-employed and being a freelancer as mentione above: "The difference between freelancer & self-employed: which one are you? Before worrying about documents, registration, taxes and so on, you will need to understand the difference between being a freelancer and being self-employed in Germany. Although it does sound similar, there are pretty substantial differences between the two. Self-employment can be divided into 2 broad categories: Freiberuflich or freelancer: it is one specific type of self-employment that is limited to only a certain number of liberal occupations. Those professions are often linked to some sort of scholar, academic or creative service, as defined in income tax law here (EStG § 18). Those can range from dancers to doctors, from architects to journalists, from lawyers to programmers. Freelancing in Germany does not require to register a business which involves less paperwork. Gewerbetreibende or tradesman/business: this is linked to all other kinds of occupations that don’t qualify for the official freelancer definition. Any other sort of commercial entreprise usually falls under the classification of business in Germany. Most often than not, it is about building, trading or selling physical stuff. In this case, you will need to register a business (Gewerbe), which explains why the term “Gewerbetreibende” is used to differentiate this category." ... "Registering as a freelancer in Germany Registering as a freelancer in Germany is a fairly straightforward process as it doesn’t involve registering a corporation or getting trade permits. However, please hold in mind that some occupations will require a specific degree to be able to do freelancing in that field. All you need to do is to: Fill in this form (Fragebogen zur steuerliche Erfassung). It’s a small questionnaire to let your Finanzamt know that you plan to become a freelancer in Germany. You can fill-it online, save it or print it when you are done. If your German is a bit sketchy, you can use this little guide or get help from a German friend. Bring it to your local Finanzamt. If unsure, which one is yours, you can check this here. Receive your new tax-ID (Steuernummer), which you will put on all your bills from now on. Registering as self-employed in Germany (Gewerbetreibende) As the name suggests, you will need to register a Gewerbe (a business) at your local Gewerbeamt (Trade office). Please note that in this case, you will need to register your Gewerbe before going to your Finanzamt. The process at the Finanzamt is then the same as mentioned above for freelancers. This is also fairly easy, especially if your status is going to be Einzelunternehmer (Sole proprietorship)."   N.B. Please refrain from posting insulting/disparaging comments or anything negative which is not constructive or helpful. In every post I write there are always incredibly helfpul posts but sadly also posts which just criticise unhelpfully or direct the discussion off-topic. I would like to help keep Toytown a supportive community. Thanks for your consideration.
  3. Hi,   I used SteuerGo in English to submit my taxes for 2018. I just recently became a freelancer and started having to declare monthly (it seems it has to be done like this for the first couple of years) my income in Elster. However, I always need a German speaking friend to do this and after a couple of months I am trying to find a way to submit these using an app in English, something akin to SteuerGo but for freelance declarations. Is there something like this? If not, is there any guide in English as to what each field in the tax declaration form mean?   Thanks,   Paulo
  4. I did some googling and searching here, but surprisingly it didn't find anything for what I thought would be a popular question.   So, here are some more details. I have been a freelancer for a year in Germany and now I want to employ a part-time assistant for 700 EUR a month, but I have no idea of how to do that. I understand I will need to pay salary, social insurance, and health insurance for my employee, but can anyone give me some directions on how I can set all this up?   The person I am employing is my wife if that matters. She's never been employed in Germany, and part of the reason I want to employ her, besides needing her work, is so that she can have social and health insurance.
  5. Hello to my favorite forum!  I have been searching for information but I'm starting to getting worried.  This is the scenario:    I'm a spanish guy that has been living and working in Germany as a normal employee since september 2018. I'm an aircraft mechanic.  Now, I quit my job a couple of months ago because a company from the UK made me a job offer.    This is a recruitment company and they don't have the AUG license ( Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz ). So they have an umbrella company that makes the payroll services for them.    Here is the thing, they want me to sign a 2 week contract but they are making me an invoice. I have to pay taxes (HI, etc, etc) by my own and  200 euros-fee service. And then, the principal company will give me a permanent contract.     I do not have the the  Freiberuflich  or the Gewerbetreibende ID.    I've been calling to the Finanzamt Hamburg but this topic it's a little bit schwer" for them. I am no longer in Hamburg.    Now my question is, Can I work as a freelancer in Germany without being registered as a freelancer? Can I pay taxes by myself as my ex company did?    I don't want to be a freelancer but this company is not giving me a second option. I'm married and I really don't want to mess with German Taxes as my German is not so good.     I will be more than happy to read your comments. I wish you all a great week.   
  6. Hi Tax and Finance experts. I have some specific question would be great if someone can clarify, but that needs some background info so here it is I have been working as full time employee for last 4 years and my wife has been on and off between full time, freelancer, no income and bare minimum income. She started and registered as freelancer in mid-2016 and was earning on an average 1000 euros a month and also paying for her own private insurance until June-2018, when she deregister as freelancer  and then did few months of minimum income of less than 200 euros a months for few months and was covered under my(Family) public insurance. Later in October -2018 she got a full time job and started paying her own public insurance and taxes(deducted from income), this lasted till January end -2019, now she is again job less but works as freelancer from time to time and keeping her income less than 445 euros/month(according to  Bezugsgröße 2019) so that she is covered under my insurance. We have already done our taxes until 2017 and now in process to do our taxes for 2018. Questions: Can you work as freelancer without being registered as freelancer in gewerbeamt when you earn less than 435 euros/month (in 2018) and is covered under your spouse public insurance? My wife worked for January 2019 as full time employee and then earned nothing in February and march. In April, she earned 400 euros and now has the opportunity to earn 900 euros for two months. Can she stay covered on my insurance when the total income for 2018 except January remains less than 445 X 11 = 4895 Euros . In this case it will be still 2200 euros(400+900+900) until June end (which is 440 euros average income for 5 months, February to June). So is it restricted to limit your income to 445 euros per month or just  total of 5340(445x12) euros per year, no matter if you earn more than 445 euros in certain months and less in others? Thanks in advance.  
  7. Hi there! I was wondering if anyone could help me out with a ´Finanzamt´issue! I recently sent a letter to my local Finanzamt in Berlin stating that I am no longer a freelancer and now employed ´Angestellt´. They sent me a letter back stating that I need fill out a document ´Steuerliche Abmeldung/Ummeldung´and that I need to send some photocopies of evidence that I no longer work as a freelancer. The evidence I could provide is stated as follows... ´Bitte legen Sie auch Ablichtungen der Verträge und Schriftstücke bei, die mit der Beendigung der Tätigkeit in Zusammenhang stehen, sowie eine vorläufige Ermittlung des Veräußerungs-bzw. Aufgabegewinns. Sollen Sie keine schriftlichen Vereinbarungen getroffen haben, bitte ich, den Inhalt mündlicher Abreden in einer Anlage darzustellen.´ Would it be enough just to send a photocopy of my completion certificate (as an English teacher) or must I also provide my ´Aufgabegewinns´? If so, how will I do so? Is someone able to provide me with a examplar or could lead me into the right direction? Dearly and thankfully appreciate many help!
  8. Hey all, I am an illustrator and graphic designer who intended to register as a freelancer in 2016. My German was not glorious at the time and I filled out the form as best as I could, mentioning my Art Degree and what I intended to do. When I received the Steuernummer for my activity the decision from the Finanzamt read: "Selbst. bild. künst. gew" (see attached).  Subsequently I was accepted and am part of the KSK. Since then, each year I am also asked to pay trade tax or Gewerbesteuer on top of the income tax. I tried to figure things out with my Steuerberater, she send some letters to the Finanzamt, but nothing happened until now (and it's been 2 years, now entering the 3rd). I mention that I never went to any other institution (such as the Gewerbeamt) to register, just the local Finanzamt. Here are my questions: 1. Am I truly registered as a freelancer or has it all been a big mistake since the beginning? (if so, can I change this) 2. Do freelancers (illustrators, graphic designers) need to pay tax trade in Germany? 3. Does anybody know a good english speaking Steuerberater that works with artists and knows the specifics of it all? Many thanks ☀️
  9. Freiberufler VAT number

    Hi, I recently registered as a freelancer in Germany. I got a number from the Finanzamt that looks like xxx/yyy/zzzz. I thought this was my VAT number but it's not. It's my steuernummer.   1. Does this mean I still need to register for a VAT number? 2. For example, I bought yesterday a microchip board at and they asked me for my VAT number. I gave them xxx/yyy/zzzz - they haven't complained yet. What should I give companies asking me for my VAT number? 3. I have a client in Spain, I assume I don't need to charge them VAT but do I need to do anything special like register somewhere or write something on the invoice, or nothing extra is needed?   Thanks,   Paulo
  10. Hey guys,   So I've been doing my research for a few days now and I'm looking for a tax-advisor in my city to have a meeting with next week so he can clarify anything. I'd love if you guys could give me the thumbs up in whether I understand everything correctly and I'm not missing anything, that way I can go well informed.   I will be working a freelance English teacher soon, for a foreign company. I believe this would be Scheinselbstaendigkeit, but that doesn't really affect the outcome of these things much.   Let's say that I make 764 Euro a month (that way I remain under the Grundfreibetrag and tax-exempt). I will have to pay 180 Euro for public health insurance (I'm already with AOK, as I was working a job before) a month because I'm below the minimum amount, so more than the 15.7% but whatever. Tax-wise I will have to pay nothing, so as long as I remain under the Grundfreibetrag, however, I will still need to fill out my Einkommensteuererklaerung.   Then, because I will be teaching English to kids (even though the company is located in Asia), I am forced to contribute to my pension fund, the rate of which is 18.7%, which means that I'd be paying 142.87 Euro per month. I cannot avoid this. I don't have to worry about sales tax, thanks to the Umsatzbefreiung für Lehtätigkeiten (or however it's called, but you get it).   So, at the end of the month, I should be paying a minimum of 322.87 Euro just for health insurance and pension fund, which I cannot dodge. This would leave me with only 441.13 Euro at the end of the month for food and rent and whatnot, which approximately 57% of my income.   Now, if I earned 1,200 Euro in a month and I were taxed at 14% I would basically have to give out 48.4% of my income away before I can pay for rent and whatnot. Which seems bloody dire, in my honest opinion.   Have I gotten everything right? Could someone correct me if I haven't?   Thank you so much!  
  11. Hi Everyone, I've been reading a lot of entries here and they are super helpful for me. Currently I have a problem with company that I couldn't find solution online. I would be grateful if you could give me some advise. I moved to Germany last year and currently attending Integration course everyday. And three weeks ago I started working 3 hrs/day at a small company in Frankfurt, helping in their workshop. I planned to work there as a part-timer everyday after class until end of April. Then my course will finish and I can start looking for a proper full time job. I was told that I can come to work whenever I'm free because they always need people. And they said everyone works as a freelancer there (later I found out that's not true) and expect me to do so. I was ok with the idea even knowing I have to go through a lot of paperwork. Because the flexibility of the work allows me to go to class in the morning is attractive so I said I can do the freelancer thing for them. But then after I started working, there were days I was told I didn't need come because they have enough people or they have meetings etc. So I only worked 3 days last week even I wished to work for 5 days. Since then I have changed my mind about the freelancer thing because I won't be earning enough to pay a tax advisor or actually worth my effort to go through all the paperwork. I explained my concern and told them I want to stop working and wish them to pay me the 27 hours of work (270 eur). They said they can't pay me unless I send them an invoice. What should I do now? Should I register as a freelancer to get the tax number and de-register immediately after? I'm worried about the amount of paper work I have to ideal with end of the year for tax return. Many thanks in advance.
  12. Hi everyone. I am a freelancer in Munich, and I'm in the process of filling out my first tax return here. Does anyone know if you can amortize a training or certification? I am a yoga teacher and did my training last year in order to be able to teach. I only started working and earning an income this year.    And if I can amortize the training, how do I declare it on the EUR form?   Thank you very much for any help or advice!