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  1. Probably because my German is very limited, I've done quite some research with conflicting results on this topic...   I discovered that my company would make a small monthly contribution if I open a company Pensionskasse account even if I don't contribute anything. So obviously I joined our Pensionskasse coz there's nothing to lose. Now I found out that my own contribution to Pensionskasse can be tax exempt to a certain amount, so I want to benefit from this policy. Problem: I can't find the max amount I can declare to be exempted... All the numbers I found in English are different. I assume it's because the number changes every year? Can anyone please tell me what this upper limit is for 2019/2020 and where to find it in German?   While doing this research, I found some claim that contributions to health insurance are 100% tax-deductible. But I thought you can only have one health insurance either private or public? Does this mean that I can have my statutory health and care insurances with Barme or TK for instance and then still have a supplementary one on top of that?   I'm member of a sociopolitical Verein and the president told me that my Mitgliedsbeitrag is tax-deductible. I also donate to causes dear to my heart and they all gave me invoices saying these donations could be declared for tax deduction. If I understood correctly, the upper limit for this type of deduction is 20% of my income. Question: is there a total tax deduction limit in Germany? Like, say, Pensionskasse and health/care insurance contribution-induced deduction plus donation-induced deduction plus ... plus ... cannot exceed a certain number or percentage of my income?   Thanks a lot :-)
  2. Hello everyone,   I have a question about moving to Germany part way through a tax year, and tax liability on earlier income.   My earlier assumption was that if I became resident in Germany part way through a tax year, I would become liable for German taxes on my entire worldwide income for the year, including any income that arose before I moved.    However (if I have interpreted the threads that I have read on this forum correctly) the reality is that I would not be liable for German taxes on the earlier income, but the amount of that income would be taken into account in calculating the progressive tax rate I would then pay for the rest of the calendar year.   Have I understood this correctly? Are they are any 'gotchas' I should know about, such as the dates involved (such as for instance receiving income in January, and then moving to Germany in February) or certain types of income that this doesn't apply to? Does anyone have a link to an official resource that discusses this?   Thanks so much if someone could let me know!
  3. 2018 Tax help

    Hello All,   Ive been using an Accountant for my wife's and my Tax filing. I´m am working with a contract but my wife is freelance. The accountant didn't offer the best service and would charge me 400 each time. Also i ever got a refund from the finanzamt, were many people in the same situation as me would.    Anyway. I need help with 2018 and wondered if anyone knows someone who can help me fill in the forms? I have steurgo but still need help! Will to pay obviously.    Any help would be great. 
  4. Hi everyone,   After 3 years in Germany my husband and I are considering moving back to the UK. I would, ideally, love to be able to set up a company in the UK (sales agency, representing artists) and know it will take a while to get things off its feet. Therefore I'm wondering if it's legally possible to get the business running whilst I'm still living in Germany and wrapping up things such as working out notice period, handling the move etc.   I sincerely doubt we would be writing any invoices until months after the company is formed, as the initial few months would be about securing the right partners, building a website, prepping databases etc.   Is this something I can kick off whilst here or am I running a risk of double taxation / a pain in the arse tax return for 2020?  I'd rather not finish my time here with even more paperwork than is ultimately necessary... But I would like to make the most of transition time where possible.   On another note, is it reasonable to be laying the groundwork for a company, but not register it for trading until it's ready? I would obviously be signing up for website products / domains that I'm guessing I could not bill to the company if it doesn't yet exist.   Lots of thoughts going on here, but anyone with any advice would be much appreciated!
  5. Hi there. I am already living in Berlin, and registered here, and a tax resident here. I am about to move to another EU country and become a tax resident there, but I will keep the apartment I own in Berlin, and come here frequently. I assume I need to do my abmeldung, and of course remove myself as a tax resident. Do you know if there are any issues with this (will there be problems with my utilities, or internet accounts [all of which I want to keep since I will rent the property out short term], or some other thing I have not thought of). Any helpful info you have greatly appreciated! Can you keep your anmeldung but be tax resident in another EU country, or must you definitely do your abmeldung if you want to be a tax resident elsewhere?
  6. Hello people! I have a tricky case when filling in the Fragebogen. Namely, lines 7 (Beruf) and 25 (Art der Taetigkeit). I want to register myself as a a tour guide. But my tours are quite unique since I also make photos of my clients while we're having a walk. So, it's 2-in-1 profession: a tour guide and a photographer. And I wonder: 1) should I register two separate activities, hence send to Finanzamt two separate forms? (but then it'd be hard to differentiate, how much I earn from each type of those activities which I'm making simultaneously most of the time) 2) should I put on line 7 just "Tour guide" and on line 25 specify that I'm also a photographer? What would you suggest? Any piece of advice will be much appreciated!
  7. UG, Ltd and accounting

    Hi everyone,   I would be very grateful for your inputs. Here is my situation.   I am a management consultant based in Hamburg and want to start an online business. It will be an online marketplace and I am not expecting to make any profits in year 1, nor do I expect to make a lot of transactions during this period (mainly just paying people to build the site and some online advertising). So the transactions will be minimal for the accounting side of things. Since there will be no profits made in year 1, keeping costs to an absolute minimum is of high importance for me.   The company: I am very much tempted to go down the LTD route in the UK, an UG will cost me around €500 and at the moment & all I need is a company name to be basically taken seriously by people I am contacting (globally), plus registering a limited company in the UK is rather fast. Is the LTD route in your opinion better than UG for someone who just needs a company? (let's ignore Brexit for now).   Tax: I am a tax resident in Germany. I have a day job and pay income tax already and will operate my company from here so the Ltd will be tax liable here. As I mentioned earlier the book entries will be minimum for year 1. I understand that an Ltd is treated like a UG or GmbH here? Do you think with the help of available software, it would be possible that one submits double accounts and the annual financial statement by themselves? I do have an MBA and am quite familiar with what they are but for obvious reasons, every accountant gives me horror stories of how much trouble I will get myself into.   I would be very grateful for your advice.   Thank you kindly  
  8. Hi Guys   There are some threads on this already but they seem to be all in the context of the UK and were started years ago... perhaps the law has changed in the meantime?   My uncle died nearly 2 years ago. He left behind a large estate and that has been split with his siblings being "major" recipients and myself, my younger brother and other cousins getting a more "minor" share of things.    His surviving brother is the executor and is handling the legal side of things. It will be wrapped up soon.    Upon my last visit home I was given an Indication of how much I would receive once the Irish taxman has taken his share of things. This tax deduction is in the region of 30K. I was asked to provide proof of residence in Germany to the Irish solicitors when I was back (end of Oct 17)   It has dawned on me thought that I could get "hit" a second time for tax in Germany.   Could I have to pay another 15-20K on what has already been taxed already? This strikes me as pretty unfair.   I've been in Germany since Summer 2015 and have been working full-time here since summer of this year. It was an experience finding out how high German income tax is! Before I started working I was studying German in the local VHS and otherwise living off the savings I accrued in Ireland (from my last place of employment) whilst I was seeking work here. I never drew social-welfare/hardship allowance.    I know there are some unknown variables. I would just like some general advice.    Thanks. .     
  9. I am aware that Finanzamt can block all your bank accounts in Germany if you owe them money. Can they also do it to your other bank accounts outside Germany but within EU?
  10. Lohnsteuerbescheinigung

    Is it normal having a new employer ask for past Lohnsteuerbescheinigung documentation? Wouldn't that be enough to simply get the tax number of the person joining the company? Thank you
  11. Good day, I am worried about this situation. I recently got a letter from the finanzamt: 'Errinerung an die Angabe Steuererklärung(en)'. It was stated that I needed to declare my tax returns for 2018, and was given a deadline until November 2019.  I came to Germany from a non -EU country as a student and graduated 2019. I have previously declared in 2018 for 2017 period when I worked in a hotel. I continued working in the hotel until March 2018. From then on up until March 2019, I freelanced for a UK firm that paid into my German account. I didn't register as a freelancer (no records with them) with my finanzamt, and just continued with it until I realised that it was illegal to be a freelancer as a non-EU student. Now my inquiries are thus:   1. Is it possible the finanzamt knows I did any sort of freelance job since the company is not a German one and probably didn't declare their revenue in Germany? I am not trying to evade taxes, but I am scared I will be punished ( probably deported) if I try to file on the income and consequently getting to know I worked illegally.   2. I worked for 3 months in the hotel in 2018. Can I declare that for the whole year, and base the rest of the year as an unemployed student writing his thesis?    3.  If I need to act accordingly to make this worries go away, what exactly do I do?    I will be grateful if @PandaMunich , gurus, and others in the house can advise me.   Thanks
  12. To begin with thank you to everyone who has already provided advice on Steuerklassen. It has been very helpful.   I have not however found what we are looking for.   My wife returned to Germany this last year with our two daughters.  She also has taken in her aging mother who can no longer care for herself. In addition, we have an au pair that assists with her mother who also lives in the home.  I live and work in California (USA) and travel to Germany throughout the year.    We would like to be Class 3, but I’m afraid we would only qualify for Class 1 or Class 2.  I am new to the German Tax system and would appreciate any advice.   Thank you in advance.    
  13. Proof of foreign income

    Dear all,   I moved to Germany last October. Previously I worked in Israel as a postdoc research. During this time I was not officially employed, but rather received a living allowance stipend (this is the standard for a postdoc in Israel, e.g.,, which was tax free. The money was paid directly into my bank account each month - I did not receive a payslip or equivalent. I declared this foreign income in my German tax, and now they are asking for proof of income. The problem is - I have none. As noted, the money was paid directly into a (now closed) bank account, with no payslip.   Any advice?
  14. Zweite Studium - reducing taxes

    I am doing a executive MBA in the UK and wonder if the tax office will accept the cost as Werbungskosten which I am planning to deduct from the taxes this year?   also would there be a limit of the MBA degrees I can deduct? I have one full time which was deducted as Werbungskosten in 2014 and this is now an executive one which costs much more money.  
  15. Solidarity Tax

    In the year 2021 the Solidarity Tax will NOT be paid by 90% of Germans.  The tax is used to give financial help to locations in Germany that were once part of East Germany.  I think 90% of Germans not paying the tax is a bad idea.  The main reason I think it is a bad idea is the tax is helping Germans in locations that used to be East Germany.  East Germany is part of German history and Germans living in what used to be East Germany should get as much help as possible.  People reading this please give your opinion.
  16. Taxes on Stock Options

    I have the opportunity to exercise 100 stock options of my previous employer for € 5 per share. The current value approved by the tax office is € 30.   In order to check its worthiness, I was wondering about:   1- Will my tax change be in the area of having my taxable income increased by 2500 Euros (i.e. If I currenlty earn 50k per year , then I will be taxed for 52500)? 2- If I decided to sell the stocks after vesting them, do I have to pay an another tax than in the one above? 3- When does the tax office demand taxes (next year tax return?)   Many Thanks
  17. English speaking tax preparation

    I did a bit of freelance work last year in addition to my regular full-time job, and now I can no longer use Lohi or Steuerring because they don't deal with freelance taxes. Could anybody please recommend an English speaking tax consultant or preparer who deals with freelance taxes, preferably in Munich?  
  18. Tax Liability for UK National

    Hello, I am UK National living in UK. My UK company has contract with recruitment agency in UK. As part of the contract I travel to Germany for project-related services. My overall nos. of days in Germany is likely to be less than 183 days. My question is whether I need to register for taxes in Germany especially since i am UK resident and going to spend less than 183 days in Germany. Any pointers on the above question will be welcome.   Regards Tushar
  19. Hello Forum Members,   I am UK Citizen - I travel to Cologne to deliver IT Project related services. I have a UK Limited Company and my contract to deliver project related services is with UK Agency/ Entity. I am travelling to Cologne almost every week but I have flexibility to work from home, as well. If I spend less than 183 days in Germany in a 12 month contract duration - Would i be liable to pay tax in Germany.   Regards Sagar 
  20. Can anyone please recommend me an agency (online or whatever else) for filing my back taxes to the US with the fast track amnestry program? I've been paying in Europe for years now and was stupid...I didn't think I had to since I was under the double taxation limits.   I've been getting quotes but the amounts are all over the place, sometimes crazy high more than whatever penalties I could get. My situation tax wise is straight forward, I don't own any property or anything. I'm just looking to file the paperwork without breaking the bank to do it.   Any recommendations would be great well apperciated!
  21. Hi, I am aware that there is a capital gain tax on financial instruments, but not sure if it depends as well from the instrument traded itself? If the instrument has a high risk of capital loss, does it have less or no capital gain tax to be paid? An example: I bought an option on an index and sold it later with a higher price on the market. Do I need to pay taxes on this capital gain? My broker is DeGiro. Thanks in advance! Gledis 
  22. Tax prepayment request from Finanzamt

    Good afternoon community.   I am an engineer living in Germany since 6 years. I‘ve always worked as an employee since I moved here in Aachen. However, in 2017 I worked in Belgium (still as an employee), but I kept living in Germany (since the workplace was not that far, Aachen is just 3 km from the Belgian border). However, in 2018, I started working again in Germany, always as an employee and without any kind of self investment or freelance additional job.   Long story short, my tax consultant forgot to submit the Belgian tax certificate, and for such reason the German state asked me in 2019 for a Prepayment of the taxes in the second quartal.   Hopefully, this amount of money has been directly taken from the Finanzamt in Aachen from the money that I should have received for the tax declaration of 2018 (self-submitted using a pc-tool).   Eventually, the prepayment has been confirmed and I received only the difference as the tax refund for 2018.   I called the Finanzamt last week, and they told me that it was not possible to stop the prepayment (since apparently the German state had suspect about my taxes situation, after no documents attesting that I was working in Belgium as an employee in 2017 were submitted).    However, the operator from the Finanzamt told me that I will get back those taxes payed in advance with the tax declaration of 2019.   And now my question: since I am using a pc tool to do my tax declaration on my own, how I will be able to declare the prepayment in the tax declaration of 2019, and thus get back the money I have payed in advance (and basically double, since I am an employee and my taxes are automatically deducted from my gross monthly income from my employer)?   Thank you in advance to everyone and greetings from Aachen!    
  23. HI   I'm waiting for my tax number to come by post after my Anmeldung but payday is getting closer and i'm worried I won't get number in time. Does anyone know if it's possible or quicker to go to the FInanzamt (Deroystrasse) to get my number directly?   Thanks TTers   Laura
  24. Hi all!   I am looking for advice or recommendation for a good tax counselor/adviser who speaks English to sort out a situation. I am willing to pay for professional advisement.   Here's the situation: I'm currently unemployed and receiving unemployment benefit (ALG I). I am married and mine and my wife's tax class are III/V, respectively. We chose this because I was the only one employed and thus this netted us a higher monthly wage from my gross salary. My ALG I was calculated based on this tax bracket.   My wife has never worked in Germany and has never received any sort of unemployment benefit. However, she seems to have found a job and will probably sign a contract soon. If this works out, then she will be earning the higher salary, ca. twice than my unemployment benefit. So we figure that her staying in class V will deduct too much from her monthly salary.   We would like to change her to III and me to V, or even to IV/IV without factor, but I'm not sure how this would affect my unemployment benefit.  
  25. Hi all,   I was wondering if someone could clarify how I can submit additional documents via ELSTER after having completed and submitted my income tax return.    I submitted my tax return last month and yesterday received a letter from the Finanzamt asking me to provide them with the "Abgabe der Gewinnermiittlung elektronisch authentifiziert" related to my freelance work (Anlage S). The person at the Finanzamt in charge of my case said that "elektronisch authentifiziert" meant I should submit the documents via ELSTER. The question is: how? Should I submit a new tax return with said documents or is there a way to add documents to an already submitted tax return?   Thanks in advance to anyone who can help here! The Finanzamt employee was very nice but had a thick Bavarian accent and I could not understand how exactly I should submit the documents...   Cheers