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  1. A friend of mine will send me dried figs and Turkish delight in the original manufacturer packaging from Turkey.    As I checked gifts worth not more than 45 euros which are sent by one private individual to another shall be admitted free of import duties. However, I don't see any weight limit to import food.   How much weight do you think it would be okay? 2.5 or 3 kg? To determine the value of the goods, should I put the original receipt into the box or how should be shown?   Thanks in advance,
  2. 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?
  3. tax on company distributions

    Does anyone know how company distributions affect taxes? If I receive distributions from a company I have shares in, how is that taxed? is it taxed?   thanks
  4. 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
  5. Hello, I was offered a position through an agency to work as a civil engineer. However they say they will not be involved with anything and I have to be a freelancer. I found below statement online and range of technicalities involved is far more complex for me to have a rough idea what sort of tax, insurance and other expenses involved in freelancing.    I need to give an offer hourly rate.  How much of an expense I should add over my net income expectation. I am 31, married (non-eu married to EU national), no kids, currently unemployed, civil engineer, living in munich.   Later, you will need to register your business with the tax office (Finanzamt). They will decide if you are a freelancer (Freiberufler) or a tradesman (Gewerbetreibender). The difference is very important. Tradesmen must get a trade licence (Gewerbeschein) and pay a trade tax (Gewerbesteuer). They must also be listed in the trade register (Handelsregister) and follow different accounting rules. You must do these things before registering your business with the Finanzamt.
  6. Hello, Sorry if this question was asked before. I am a international student studying in Bamberg currently i have a mini job of 450 with that i am doing another side job but every month i receive my payment 35 percent tax is deducted from it which i believe is too much. Please if anyone have the correct information and give me an answer so that i can tell my employer to correct it. I have attached the payment slip below. Thank you
  7. Hello, I racked up a bit of debt to the TK a couple of years ago and in 2018 paid them back 1100EUR as part of a repayment plan. I'm just about to send off my Tax return and wondered if it's possible to add that to the deductions as voluntary contributions to healthcare? I found a similar post saying yes, but that was somebody deducting what they had paid in health insurance personally before finding a job. I wonder if the same applies when it is technically paying back a debt. Any thoughts would be great! LG, M
  8. Hello guys, I have benefited greatly by this community over the years. Al by being just a passive reader answering my doubts just be reading through the forum. To that, I thank you all. But reading my tax situation I cannot seem to get my head around.         - Marital status: Single          - Previous education: BSc in Visual Communication (Not in Germany)         - Period of education (Diploma in Germany): March 2014 - March 2016         - Employed from: April 2016 - present (3years).          - No children         - Salary: 32400          - I paid 16000 Euros in Tuition for the two years I studied          - Ever since I started working, I pay around 600 euros toward my education loan (Approx: Tuition 16000; Living expense 15300 euros( which includes travel and living for 9 months internship in three cities Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam)          - Haven't files taxes from 2014 - 2018   I am aware as of now the tax returns are not granted for first degrees. But will a Diploma in Germany count as a second degree? I have read articles which suggest that in anywise filing a tax return is beneficiary in case the supreme court rules out the unfair bias between bachelors and masters. Which makes me wonder about the status of a diploma degree. Has anyone has experience claiming tax returns on a diploma course, if that is even possible. Quoting wundertax “Can all students use a tax loss carry over? All students completing a second degree (master or bachelor with previous vocational training) can claim their educational and occupational expense as work-related tax deductions. For students completing their first degree, the current finance authority only acknowledge the tuition fees as extraordinary expenses, a loss carry over is therefore not possible (see notes below).“ again, this does not mention anything about a diploma. Thank you for reading through, any input is appreciated  
  9. 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.   
  10. Dear All,   Can you help please? If you get bonus from your employer, I know that this is taxable. Do you know if the % for social insurance, health insurance should be paid as well from the bonus (on top of the basic salary where normally insurances are calculated) just like how tax works if you get bonus? Or the insurances should be calculated from your basic salary and not from the bonus as well?   Thank you!
  11. When you've worked for a company for many years and they want to make you redundant and give you a big 6-figure settlement, that's normally immediately taxable at I believe near-as-dammit 50%. If you then decide you're not going to work for the next few years and plan to retire early (or just take a few years off), can tax on that redundancy payment be offset somehow?   I heard talk of someone who knows someone who took their payout and invested it into some kind of startup company and thereby avoided the immediate tax liability. I assume that if they got that money out of that investment with or without some change in its value, they'd then be liable for that taxation they avoided.   I wondered whether an alternative would be to start up a freelance business doing whatever you were doing before (for your employer), and pay yourself a fixed salary from it, like 20-30,000 which shouldn't incur too high a tax percentage. You'd keep that freelance business going until the investment funds ran out. You've then converted that one-off lump into a number of smaller lumps that are regular income and benefit from the 8k or so that you get tax-free and the 8-20 (or 8-30) would be at a lowish rate too.
  12. 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.
  13. 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    
  14. 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!    
  15. 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!
  16. 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  
  17. 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.
  18. 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. 
  19. 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.  
  20. 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!
  21. 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!
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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?