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Found 28 results

  1. Consultants to the ministry of agriculture suggested to introduce a special tax on meat of 40 cent/kg which should be forwarded to farmers in order to allow them to improve the conditions under which animals are kept. Would that work? Would there be enough popular support? I´m a bit sceptical that a tax alone would help. I think they must create more awareness of the problem. Maybe it should be mandatory to depict suffering animals on the package of meat just as there are pictures e. g. of cancerous lungs on cigarette packages. Or texts like: "for the sake of allowing you to buy this Schnitzel 10 cents cheaper the piglet was castrated without anesthesia (and don´t think it´s just a quick cut - they have to squeeze out the testicles as well)".
  2. Donation to City Hall

    Hi everyone,   I want to fill my tax return and I want to declare a donation (painting on canvas - valued 300 euros) made by me to a German City Hall (Verbandsgemeindekasse).   I received a "Bestätigung über Sachzuwendungen" paper from them, stating the value of donation, their address and the mention that is for "Förderung von Kunst und Kultur".   On the respective paper is also checked: x - Die Sachzuwendung stammt nach den Angaben des Zuwendenden aus dem Privatvermögen. x - Die Zuwendung wird - von uns unmittelbar für den angegebenen Zweck verwendet   My question is: In the tax return form, to what kind of institution should I write I made the donation? Political party? Non-Profit organization? etc.   Thank you
  3. Hey folks! I am aware there are some other threads that touch on this subject, but I'm in a bit of a specific situation and would love some input. First off - I don't know much about writing invoices in Germany (or rather anywhere), as I just moved here ~1.5 years ago from the States, so please go easy on me and explain like I'm 5 (ELI5).    So here's the situation. I am currently getting my masters here in Berlin Part-time with a Student Visa, with classes half the year and working part time half the year. I have a primary job that I work under 20 hours a week throughout the year, where I pay taxes. I also have health insurance, and am paying student prices for my monthly fee. My Masters program requires us to work 12 months abroad in a field related to our studies (can be collected in pieces, e.g. 3 months here, 2 months there, 6 months there, etc.) and so I was recently offered a 1.5 month position from a NGO based in Holland where I will be working abroad (SE Asia) the end of last year. I signed the contract without even knowing/understanding that this would qualify as a freelance job, as well as the fact that students in Germany are not allowed to have a freelance job.    Fast forward to after the 1.5 months, the NGO was asking for an Invoice so I can get paid for the job. I've never written an Invoice before, so I googled a template and wrote an Invoice using my SteuerID. (I know, stupid) Within a month or so, they paid me without deducting any taxes (VAT 0%), and I began to realise the potentially horrific situation I am in. (In total in 2019, I made more than the cut-off for not paying taxes, but less than 17000euro)   Of course, I will VERY happily pay taxes, and the last thing I'd like to do is to be on bad terms with the Finanzamt/Ausländerbehörde.   Here are my questions: Now, after doing a bit of internet research, I understand that the Ausländerbehörde can grant people with Student Visas permission to take a freelance job in certain circumstances, so they can apply for a Steurnummer at the Finanzamt. Will they do so even *after* said person has already signed the contract, done the job, and gotten paid for the job? Or perhaps I don't need to tell them this detail yet?   What's my first step? Do I go to the Finanzamt and come clean and see what they suggest? Do I hire a steurberater/in? Do I make an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde to see if they will give me permission for freelance jobs? (If so, what documents do I bring?) How do I fix this? Am I totally doomed?    Also, should I contact the NGO to void my original Invoice, return the money, and wait until I receive a Steuernummer to re-write the Invoice?    Thanks for reading this far. I truly truly appreciate any/all input.   
  4. Hey Guys, I am from Australia and planning to file my first income tax returns in Germany for year 2019. I read that I can claim tax returns for double household for my house in Australia. My girlfriend still used to live in Australia and she just moved to Germany this year with me. I have flown back and forth Australia 2 times last year and ticket cost was around 800€ per trip. Can I claim this back while filling my tax return ? Also can the rent that I used to pay in Australia for my second home be claimed back ? And if so how do I submit the proof ? Is my rental agreement enough ? And also do I need anything other than flight tickets to as proof for the flight ?   Thanks in advance    
  5. Inheritance tax in the UK is a tax on the estate. In Germany IHT/gift tax is on the beneficiary. My UK mother is leaving everything to me and my UK sister. I live permanently in Germany. The amount involved exceeds the German “parent to child” allowance. Will the Finanzamt give me a credit for the IHT paid in the UK when calculating the German tax due? My Steuerberater is not prepared to commit himself!  
  6. Hello,   my wife just moved to Germany, I am switching from tax class I to tax class 3 for me (and assigning her for 5 respectively).   However, while filling the tax class in section 15 of the form ''steuerklassewechsel bei ehegatten'', it asks what tax combination do we have now. and no option states tax class I.   what should I fill in this case?   Thanks,   -CMA
  7. tax class switch

    Hello All,   I live in NRW, My wife arrived in Germany on a family reunion visa. she has made her "Anmeldung" and now its time to change my tax class.   I am currently in tax class I and want to change to Class 3 for me and 5 for her, since:    - I am employed    - She has no income    - This would grant me less tax on my salary.   So, can someone help me with the process?   I know I should fill the  Steuerklassenwechsel  form, sign it both and send it to the finanzamt. However, are there any missing steps? I'm not sure if I should do an "Umeldung" first to change my status from single to married on my "Aufenhaltstitel" or there is something else missing? Also, when would the finanzamt give me a confirmation of my tax class change so I could give it to my employer?   Thanks in advance.  
  8. Let me preface by saying that I've checked out the wiki and previous threads for this, and am either finding no answers, or very ambiguous ones. Here's the quick situation:   -I live in Germany, but still have student loans in the United States that I am paying off monthly. -These amounts are rather high (around 5600 dollars last year), and in the US, I can declare these loan interest payments on my taxes in the form of a 1098-E form from the bank. The exact amount that I'm able to deduct (since there is a limit) seems to vary year by year, but I am always able to deduct at least some of it. -The yearly amount I pay on this is around 10-15% of my annual income, so this is obviously going to have a major influence on my taxes owed. -I provided my Steuerberater with the 1098-E forms as proof of these payments and their amounts.   My Steuerberater just prepared by Einkommenssteuererklärung for me, but seems not to have included this information under "Aufwendungen für die eigene Berufsausbildung" or under "andere außergewöhnliche Belastungen". As a result, I think the Steuererklärung provides and incomplete an incorrect picture for the Finanzamt. Also worth noting that during this time I was working as self-employed, so my Steuererklärung also factors in other cost-of-business items (rent, insurance, travel, etc.)   Does anyone have experience with this? I've already emailed my Steuerberater and am waiting on a response... if the payments weren't such a massive part of my yearly income I would be a little less concerned, but as it stands this will have dramatic consequences for the amount of tax I am paying.   Edit: and to reference my earlier search: the German tax page on the TT wiki says that student loan payments for degrees can be deducted, but other googling apparently says it cannot, or is hazy.
  9. Income tax declaration 2018

    Time for tax fun!   I'll get us kicked off.   How can I get the figures for the "Nebenkosten" if I've lost the original letter and my landlord company is a right old shower?   Similar question in case the answer is "check your bank statements" - what if I only get these online, and the stupid banking app only shows a short time span?
  10. (I posted this in the Business forum which doesn't seem to have as many people, and couldn't figure out how to move it here.) Hi, I should first say I am planning to talk to a tax advisor about this but wondered if anyone here could please shed any light so I can be asking the right questions.   I've been trying to better understand what qualifies as a Permanent Establishment for tax purposes in Germany. I'm from the UK and live and freelance in Berlin, but will soon be forming a limited company with a colleague who lives in UK, splitting shares 50/50. The company designs, manufactures and sells an audio hardware product across Europe and the world. The technical design work is mainly carried out by contractors in Bulgaria and the manufacturing and probably warehousing will also be in Eastern Europe. Meaning the only presence of the company here in Germany is me, one of the 2 founders, with the other staying based in London. The Estonian OÜ looks appealing as you can leave all profits in the business at the end of the year without being taxed, which would be really helpful for a hardware startup that has to pay large sums for manufacturing. It also appears to have relatively hassle-free setup. I'm concerned that it would be considered a permanent establishment in Germany as one half of the founders is living here. My questions: 1) What actually qualifies as permanent establishment in Germany? I understand if it is a sole founder living here then it is essentially a German company, but if it is only one founder here then what? 2) If it is a permanent establishment, does that mean 100% of the company profit is liable for taxation in Germany? Thanks in advance.
  11. Hi, I should first say I am planning to talk to a tax advisor about this but wondered if anyone here could please shed any light so I can be asking the right questions.   I've been trying to better understand what qualifies as a Permanent Establishment for tax purposes in Germany. I'm from the UK and live and freelance in Berlin, but will soon be forming a limited company with a colleague who lives in UK, splitting shares 50/50. The company designs, manufactures and sells an audio hardware product across Europe and the world. The technical design work is mainly carried out by contractors in Bulgaria and the manufacturing and probably warehousing will also be in Eastern Europe. Meaning the only presence of the company here in Germany is me, one of the 2 founders, with the other staying based in London. The Estonian OÜ looks appealing as you can leave all profits in the business at the end of the year without being taxed, which would be really helpful for a hardware startup that has to pay large sums for manufacturing. It also appears to have relatively hassle-free setup. I'm concerned that it would be considered a permanent establishment in Germany as one half of the founders is living here.  My questions: 1) What actually qualifies as permanent establishment in Germany? I get if it is a sole founder living here then it is essentially a German company, but if it is only one founder here then what? 2) If it is a permanent establishment, does that mean 100% of the company profit is liable for taxation in Germany? Thanks in advance.  
  12. Second Income and Tax Question

    Hello All,    After searching the forum and failed to find similar situation, I am writing this question.    I am a foreigner (non-EU citizen), working full time in Berlin and hold a Blue Card Visa. I recently applied for "Niederlassungserlaubnis" and is still in progress. I am married and my wife is not working; so we have the tax classes 3 and 5.    Meanwhile, I got permission to start working as a freelance photographer from my current employer and the terms are added to my contract.  My questions are following:  1. Is there a limit for my second income? 2. I currently use joint (my wife and I) Tax ID for the second income. Is this the right way? 3. If I have to register/get a different permission from the government for exceeding the limits of second income, what would that be?   My second income is more than 1500EUR/month.    Looking forward for your advice. Thanks in advance!   Best Regards,  Jack
  13. 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 :-)
  14. 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!
  15. 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. 
  16. 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!
  17. 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?
  18. 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!
  19. 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  
  20. 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. .     
  21. 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?
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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.    
  25. 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., https://international.huji.ac.il/book/post-doctoral-regulations), 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?