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  1. Had a  search on TT & Google but couldn`t find this particular circumstance. ( probably using the wrong search strings )   A friend in the UK ( resident ) has rental income from property in Germany ( around 9k ). She is not sure if she should be declaring / taxing this in Germany. From my research, she is probably   " Beschränkte Steuerpflicht in Deutschland "  & she should be declaring this to her local finanzamt ( where the property is )  Is this correct? Hoping  @PandaMunich or someone else can confirm this. If not, no problem, I can call my Steuerberater after the holidays and ask them.
  2. Background: I started to work January-1 and signed up myself and mywife for TK Non-contributory Dependants Co-insurance / Family.    Unfortunately, I had to quit my job end of march - terrible office culture. Funny enough my wife found a job in Munich and started her work on 15-April.    TK Insurance reapplicaiton over wife I explained the situation to TK and they said we are covered about a month so we put insurance start date 1st May. However, the period without employer contribution (April-1 to April-15) and insurance start date made me worried that we might perhaps be invoiced some cost...   My question to good people of TT,  a) are we going to end up with an invoice for period: - April-01 to April-15 (no employer) and/or - April-15 (work start) to May-1 (insurance start date)     b.) shall we change insurance start date to April-15 instead of May-01    
  3. Hi everyone!   I have a question regarding German taxes and mutual funds.   Before I moved to Germany I made yearly contirbutions to a Canadian mutual fund. All contributions were made before moving to Germany.   After having moved to Germany in 2017, I withdrew from these mutual funds early (2018) to pay off some outstanding debt I had in Canada.   I am currently employed in Germany and am a taxpayer here, and have no other income in Canada. My wife is German and I am living here under a marriage or family visa.   I wondering what the tax implications of the mutual fund withdrawal are for this year's tax return?   Just thought I would ask here as I can't really afford the international tax consultants!   Thanks in advance!    
  4. I want to start working as a freelance English teacher in Berlin. Whilst I'm waiting for work to pick up can I do a mini-job? Would I just add the income to my tax return at the end of the year? I have registered and I'm in the process of applying for a freelance tax number.   Also, I've just filled in an E101 from the UK to have my health insurance covered for one year. Is my health insurance still valid if I do 'employed' work as well as self-employed.   Thanks for your help. I'm new to the German system!
  5. I work as Software Developer. I want to buy a new laptop for work. My question is, if I buy a laptop of cost 1500 Euros then how much I will get back in tax return ? Second, if I buy laptop from foreign country e.g. USA, still I would be able to apply in tax return ? Third, Do I have to get in writing from my employer that they do not provide laptop and I need it purely for work ? These are related questions but do not address my query. and  
  6. Hi. I'm thinking about buying a new laptop for work. I've been reading around here and elsewhere about claiming a tax deduction from that. From what I gather, there are three important points: 1. It is for work. 2. Require for the job. 3. Employer doesn't provide it   So here is my situation/question for each point 1. This laptop will be almost always for work. I have a desktop for private use at home and the laptop will be used at my office most of the time. The biggest exception is when I travel, where I'll also use it in my private time. Is this still qualify as "for work"? 2. This is pretty easy I think. My job certainly needs it. 3. This one is tricky. The thing is my department actually give me three options: a desktop, a standard Dell laptop, or a MacBook Air. However, none of those really satisfy my need. And since I will be using this for most of my working time, I'd like to have something I'm happy with. The question is, does this fact disqualify me from claiming the tax deduction from buying my own laptop?   Thank you in advance.
  7. Hi,   In whole 2018, i had a 75% tvl13 contract(class 1). In my yearly statement, brutto and paid taxes are exactly as it is written in , so everything is simple...   To do the 'Steuererklärung' i entered my data in different website(like, but all of them showed expected refund of around '10 euro' ! Is there here any point i missed? Because i expected to receive around 900 Euro refund (consider that i wouldn't declare any cost or expenses)   thank you in advance for any reply. 
  8. Hi All,   I was planning to sell my house in the US this year and recently relocated to Germany for work.  I'm living in Hamburg and earning my salary here in euros for the next 1 year and 2 months.  I don't intend to remain in Germany after that.  I have had the house for almost 5 years.  I was living in it from 2014-2017 until I moved abroad, first to China, and then just a few weeks ago to Germany.  I've been renting the house to my friend since 2017 when I moved out.   My understanding is that the US has taxation rights to the sale.  However, I would actually not be subject to capital gains tax in the US since I was living in the property for the minimum 2 out of the last 5 years.  I would, however, be subject to depreciation recapture and a fairly small "stamp tax" in Massachusetts.   I have spoken to multiple tax accountants in Germany through my work and they've given me conflicting answers on whether or not I would have to pay capital gains tax to Germany after the sale.  I'm hoping that somebody with experience could help to clarify.  I understand that if I had held the property for 10+ years or if I hadn't rented it out that I definitely wouldn't have to pay it, but unfortunately these situations don't apply to me.  I also understand that I can rent it out for one more year and sell it after moving and it wouldn't be an issue, but I would very much prefer to sell it now.   Please let me know in case more information is needed.  I appreciate any help that you can give me.   Thank you,   Jon
  9. Hello,   I've been working in Germany fulltime for 3 years (I don't speak German - sorry to say), I'm single without children and I also had no idea about tax calculations.   Each year, I got a paper from employee with title "Ausdruck der elektronischen Lohnsteuerbescheinigung", example (not mine of course) Until last week, I got informed from a roommate who said If I check this paper, row number 5 "Einbehaltener Solidaritätszuschlag von 3."  and if it is not 0 then I can claim tax return from it.   I've collected these papers from the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) and would like to claim some hundred Euros from Finanzamt (the roommate also said, I could visit this office and they would help to fill the tax claim papers).     Could you confirm that I could collect the money from my last 3 working years? I have fulltime job and the Brutto salary is ~3000 Euro/month and I summed the total money from the row number 5 from these tax papers which would give me ~800 Euro.   Thanks a lot.  
  10. Hi everyone. I was gifted (for free) a product by a brand, along with a discount code to share with my followers on social media. The deal is, I get a certain amount of money paid to me if X number of people buy through my discount code.   I'm currently a freelancer, and what I want to know is: Do I need to declare this gifted product on my taxes? If yes, how do I declare this gifted product on my taxes? Is there a specific form to fill out? What if I don't know the value of the product? If I receive any commission from the company, does that mean I am now no longer a freelancer, but self-employed and must do a 'Gewerbeanmeldung' and charge VAT? The company is also not in Germany, but in Switzerland. If I am being paid from overseas, does that also mean something tax-wise?   Any help and advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
  11. 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!
  12. Tax on non-cash gifts and prizes

    Hi everyone. I won a non-cash gift through a competition on social media. Do I have to declare the value of this product in my taxes? If yes, is there a specific form I'm supposed to fill out? And what if I don't know the exact value?   Also, where is the line drawn between whether or not it counts as a personal competition win vs. something for my freelance work? I'm a freelancer, and you could argue that the competition was something I entered as an individual, but you could also argue that it was under by freelance work. The line between both is a bit blurry.   Thanks in advance for any help and advice!
  13. I'm in my 30s and i would like to start investing so that i can have more financial security in my late 50s early 60s. I spent last few months investigating potential ways to do that and after reading many blogs, several books, consulting with friends and i reached some findings that i would like to share here for further analysis. But before that here are some info about me that you can use to have a better overview where i'm coming from   Some of my prerequisites - I'm an EU citizen - living and renting in Berlin(for about 6 moths) - Married and both of us work - Have no debt - have savings to cover more then 1 year without a job - saving 1/3 of income   Some of my requirements: - long term is probably going to yield positive result - doesn't require ridiculous start of investment like 100k euro - don't mind ups and downs of investment - is as simple as it can be - has a return that can make me as financially independent as possible in my early 60s - don't wont to jump in any debt if not necessary. - doesn't require high amount of management   What i found is that investing in ETFs fits these requirements. Reading further i got an general idea of what products i would like to buy for my portfolio - iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF USD: 90% - Shares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI UCITS ETF: 10% The portfolio to me seems to reach entire world and the TER is not that high 0.20 and 0.18, and also seems simple to manage, as the time passes I'll start looking into bond ETFs and maybe move there to have a bit smoother retirement ride. Any more advice on portfolio would be very helpful but my brain is already overloaded the last few months so simple products would be the best for me i think :).   BUT all of this in principle sounds nice but it's the operational part where I'm seeing a ton of stuff i still need to find out and that is where i need help and this seemed like a good place to ask some questions. Which Broker should i use: I've read so many reviews and forum posts that I'm getting information overload, so i'm asking for some help here, my needs are that i can get the ETF products that I mentioned i'm interested in(or something else if i get a better advice), that the service is in English(don't care so much about website but people that i can talk to), that is secure and reliable, that it provides me all the necessary documentation for tax purposes. From what i was looking online a lot of people in EU seem to use DEGIRO so i opened an account with them to check them out but i didn't buy anything yet. I summary i would really like recommendation on which i should choose and why Taxes in Germany: This is the part that scares me the most, i don't have a lot of experience with doing tax forms (where i'm from all was done by your company) and i based on everything I read about taxes in Germany it doesn't seem simple so my question is do you recommend getting a professional help for that and if yes do you know any tax company for expats in Berlin. Also from what i was reading is that if a broker is from Germany they will take do the taxes for me but when i was checking the popular German brokers none of them had an english version of the website so i'm not that happy with that. Should i look for financial advisor: do i need a financial advisor for my investment requirements, i would maybe ask for professional help for my investments but only for asking for advice not managing the money     I would be very helpful for an advice on anything that i wrote and i hope that i will be able to help somebody else in the future
  14. Hi all,   I am currently a Kleinunternehmer providing a service and all of my clients are located outside of the EU since I started my business (specifically US, Australia and New Zealand). Last year (2018) I earned less than 17.500€. This year I will earn more than that (exact amount to be determined, here's to hoping!). I work remotely (usually 50% of the year at home in Germany and 50% while traveling outside the EU), and I setup the tech of digital marketing for my clients, things like creating websites, sales funnels, setting up eCommerce shops and setting up email marketing (i.e. not the creative stuff like ads or copywriting).   I understand I don't technically have to give up my Kleinunternehmer status until the year after I earn 50.000€, but I am trying to clarify the details of what counts as a private person and what counts as a business.   I mostly work for entrepreneurs, at most they have 2-3 people on their team. However, they all have their own companies. What do I need to ask from my clients or what information should I have ready for the Finanzamt (or my own records) to determine whether they are private people or businesses? I'm a bit confused where I stand as my clients are individual people (not big companies), but are usually registered under names besides their own (or something like "Client Name Writing & Training"). Do they count as businesses then? If so, is there certain info I need to ask from them to prove this?   It's my understanding this difference between private person and business is very important once I pass the income threshold for a Kleinunternehmer as it determines whether I need to charge the VAT or not.   ---   On that note, can anyone here recommend a Steuerberater who is able to do a Beratung virtually? I am outside Germany until mid-April and travel about half the year, but would love to have a session with someone just to talk things through and make sure I am setting myself up right to avoid any messes down the line. I speak fluent German but it would be nice to do it in English so that I 100% understand every little detail (tax German is towards the edge of my C1 level), but if that is not possible German is fine. I've hired a couple accountants in Berlin before, but caught big financial mistakes their team made on my taxes from both of them so would love to hear tried and true recommendations of people used to working with expats who have non-EU clients.   Thank you!
  15. I worked for the university medical center as a postdoctoral researcher. My whole team is likely to be integrated into a newly formed independent research institute while remaining a link to the uniklinik -- therefore, if the research institute became a reality my contract will be splitted into two, a larger part of my salary will be from Leibiniz and the smaller part will be from the uniklinik.   I'm reading the possible scenerio about tax class, and it's quite clear to me that I will have to get a class 3 (I'm married) for my larger part of income and class 6 for the smaller part. Compare to my current salary (it will remain the same after the split) more tax will likely be deducted from my brutto each month. My question is, am I correct to assume that once I submit a tax return claim I'll get back the difference of tax (irrespective of other tax deduction claims) comparing to the amount of tax I'm paying right now?      
  16. Can anyone recommend a Steuerberater, speaking English and proficient in VAT and UK, German and Luxembourg taxes.  Thank you!
  17. Hi Everyone,   First of all, apologies if the topic is somehow redundant, but I failed to find this topic in the forum yet.  We are doing the 2018 tax return for my girlfriend, who moved to Germany in October 2017. She found a job and started to work in May 2018, and until then, she paid TK contributions (circa 180€/moth). The contribution were charged to my account for convenience, but she was reimbursing me the cost also monthly.   - Can she include those insurance expenses in the tax return to get some deductions? (from January 2018 to May 2018) - Is the fact that the charges were made to my account going to cause any issues?   My research points that these contribution can be included in Angaben zu Vorsorgeaufwendungen, line 17. This lines states as an example: "bei freiwillig gesetzlich versicherten Selbstzahlern" that I understand it is the case.   Since she was not working on 2017, I believe that no deductions are possible because no taxes were paid at all.    Both my German language and German Tax law knowledge are quite limited, so hopefully someone in the forum has dealt with this topic already and can provide some clarification.   Many thanks
  18. First some background - My wife (citizen of US and Germany but with residence, work history and assets in the US) and I (US citizen), currently still 5-8 years away from retirement, have some thoughts of possibly retiring in Germany. Obviously the decision of where to locate ourselves is a lot more than a financial decision, and perhaps my limited German language ability (rectifiable) and inability to blend in from a skin color stand point (not rectifiable) will play a bigger role in the ultimate decision. However, the tax impact is not an insignificant factor we project to have financial assets between 5 to 10M USD in a mixture of pre- (401K, 303-B) and post- tax portfolio of stocks, bonds, US mutual funds and private partnership assets. The main purpose of this thread to confirm my macro-level understanding at this stage. We will engage professional expertise such as that on this board before making a final decision.   Taxes: From my understanding of the tax situation thus far  - We might be best advised to convert our US pre-tax assets to post-tax before establishing a German tax residency. That'd cause us to pay the top US tax rate at the time of such conversion, but that is below 42/45% German tax rate pre-tax assets would be subject after the German tax residency. Such a conversion would make the portfolio post-tax and we'd incur the German tax rate on only the returns generated by it.  - I understand that the tax rate for income generated from assets is 30.5% (= 25% + 5.5%)   Health Insurance: We will obviously forfeit the US medicare coverage in such a move. What I am less clear is the range of annual health insurance costs we should be budgeting for. Also, what might be a good assumption in the increases in the insurance costs with age. Again, interested in a macro-level understanding. Neither of us has worked in Germany. [I have as an ex-pat but only for a year - though taxes were filed on my behalf for two years.]   Impact of Real Estate investment prior to establishing German tax residency: As I indicated, a move to retire to Germany is yet unconfirmed and likely 5-10 years away. Yet, once in a while - the thought of buy an apartment - likely in Berlin/Hamburg (the two cities that interest us) prior to the move does cross our mind. If we don't retire here, we can sell it or keep it as a second residence. We have resisted it so far as we wonder if that might have a potential to complicate our tax picture outlined above.   We would appreciate any information or advice on the above points.   
  19. Leaving Germany; 2 tax questions

    Hi,   So I will leave Germany in July to start a new job in Canada.   I am an Indian citizen on a temporary German residence permit, single, no kids (Tax class 1) and have had a salary since 2014: before that I was on a tax-free fellowship. I will get this salary  until April 2019, and then switch to a tax-free fellowship again from May to July 2019 before leaving. I never filed a return until now, and my understanding is that I could still claim tax refunds over the last four years (if there is any to be obtained): is that correct ?   1) Is there much to be gained for 2014-2018 ? I am single, no kids and don't have any proven business expenses (and only minor transportation expenses). So I guess there is just the standard deduction and the pension contribution and the private health insurance contribution. These do show up in my salary slip: so does this  mean that my automatic tax deduction (at source) likely already takes these into account ?    2)  I will move to Canada with a similar salary in July. Would I be likely to get much of a refund for the 4 months I will be paid a salary this year ? From May to July, I will go back into a guest fellowship, so I will only have taxable income for 4 months. Will battling with SteurGo or paying a tax advisor be worth it ? My brutto salary is around 70K.    Thanks a lot !!!  
  20. Hi all,   I work as a self-employed and last year I visited my home country (non-EU) and purchased a new laptop there. As a rule of thumb I know that laptop can be filed for tax return with depreciation of three years.   The problem is, does this rule work in the same way if I did not purchase the laptop in Germany? On the invoice there is my name and my home coutry address and my home coutry tax number - should I contact the shop to change all this information to my German details (they said they might be able to do it)?   I only have a few list of tax return since I only start working in November so I think getting a steuerberater might be too costly for last year tax filing.   Thank you!
  21. Tax time help

    Hello, I came to Germany as a working student, over the past year I have made a whoping  €1500 for the entire year. Do I pay taxes or claim the amount?  Or is it to low?  Thank you
  22. Einkommensteuer Pauschalbetrag

    Can someone please explain, I am confused   it seems there is some  Pauschalbetrag for employee each year so if my tax deductible expanses are around 100 euro (less than 1000),  it will be counted 1000 euro Pauschalbetrag instead ?   but is this already calculated or I have to send declaration and I will get it back  ?
  23. Importing capitals to Germany

    Hi All,   I am soon going to relocate to Dresden and I am thinking to sell an apartment I own in Italy to finally settle down there. I currently am a German fiscal resident  and I have purchased my property in Italy more than 10 years ago.   Now the question is: what happens in the eyes of the Finanzamt if I move let's say 200000 Eur from my own bank account in Italy to my bank account in Germany? My take is that they should not be taxed. I have read the Italian-German agreement against double-taxation and there it is clearly stated that income from real estate is taxed in the country where the real estate is. Plus this is actually not income, this is capital and for the fact that the property was purchased more than ten years ago, as far as I know there should not  be a capital-gain tax (which will be anyway microscopic, prices plummeted in Italy since the 2008 crisis . Depending on the negotiation I may even end up selling under my initial purchase value). Are there other taxes to consider on top of the capital gains? Your comments are welcome indeed.   Assuming that the capital should not be taxed (I hope I am right). How do I actually import the money here in Germany? I know there is a limit of 12500 EUR beyond which transactions must be somewhat explained. So when I do a transaction of say 200000 EUR from my italian bank account to my german bank account, do I need to inform the Bundesbank? Where? How? Regarding taxes, is there a way I can flag/explain the transaction so that the Finanzamt will know what that is?   (this leads to another question that I will post in a minute in a following post)   Thank you!!      
  24. Hi All,   I have an apartment in Italy that I rented in the past years.  According to my tax berater and thanks to the agreement between Germany and Italy against double taxation, the taxes over rental income are paid only in Italy (and they duly are).    Now, in the past years I have accrued a (relatively) small amount of money on my Italian account as in fact the incoming rent piled up there (my salary here was enough and I have not invested what I was doing).   Now I will sell the apartment and I intend to close the italian bank account. If I transfer an amount of approximately 20000 Eur from my italian bank account to my german bank account, do I need to inform the Bundesbank? Where? How?  Regarding taxes, is there a way I can flag/explain the transaction so that the Finanzamt will know that this is non-taxable rental income?   Thank you for your help!        
  25. Joint or Single Tax Return Benefits

    Apologies if this has been covered before - I searched but no answer was conclusive.   My wife and I are freelancers here. She earns a very good amount - I earn very little. What is the benefit of us doing a joint tax return?    The tax free allowance seems to be the same for each individual when combined together.    Would love is someone can shed some light on this for me cause I've read a few places it's best practice, and especially if one person earns significantly more than the other (which is the case for us) but I can't see why...