Anyone living in Germany but working remotely?

55 posts in this topic

I've been working remotely in various forms since 2006.  I'm an IT contractor, and I spend a lot of time sitting on conference calls etc.  For me it works out very well - most of my work is split between the America's, Europe and Asia - so everyone plans conferencing to occur in my timezone.  No late nights or early mornings for me!  These days I find it "challenging" working in an office environment - I am significantly more productive working from home without all those people dropping by for a chat.

 

I contract to US multinational (my contract is through a UK subsidiary). I have recently been asked to go permanent - while I have my reservations (I love the freedom of contracting), I have a lot of time invested with this company so the timing is right for this move for me.  I know it's going to cost me financially, but hopefully it's a case of 1-step back, 2-steps forward!

 

Hence, a question from my side:  At this point, it has not been decided in which country the permanent position will be - however there is flexibility and certainly I will have some influence on the decision.  In that regard, is there a benefit to me to be employed via a Germany subsidiary, or outside of Germany (i.e. Ireland)? Taxation, pension, insurance etc.

I do have a good tax accountant and insurance broker who I am also speaking with, but spreading the info net far and wide...

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Hi everyone... has anyone managed to have a permanent online job for a foreign company that has no connections to Germany, in my case Norwegian, and sort out taxes, social and health insurance, pension, and so on...?? How does it function? Right now I am dealing with it...still waiting for the green light from my Norwegian employer...in the German tax office they told me I should just make an agreement with them and pay my taxes every 3 months... And I guess I need to go by myself to insurance agencies and fix the rest? Thanks in advance.

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On 30.7.2018, 00:07:54, stefanko said:

Hi everyone... has anyone managed to have a permanent online job for a foreign company that has no connections to Germany, in my case Norwegian, and sort out taxes, social and health insurance, pension, and so on...?? How does it function? Right now I am dealing with it...still waiting for the green light from my Norwegian employer...in the German tax office they told me I should just make an agreement with them and pay my taxes every 3 months... And I guess I need to go by myself to insurance agencies and fix the rest? Thanks in advance.

 

I am trying to research this myself now as my employer is moving to Portugal and wants to move the company there too.  From what I've found out so far, there seem to be two ways.  Either you are self employed and get your money and take care of your insurances, taxes and everything else yourself or you work as a salaried employee but your employer figures out what they have to pay on your behalf in Germany and does that.  There was even a post I found yesterday where someone had an employer who did not want to deal with transferring money to various places on their behalf so they just fronted the employee the extra money and had them do it.  It seems that in such a case, if the employer does pay everything they are supposed to, you might end up having to take care of it yourself.

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Hi all,

 

Does anyone know what the requirement about registering at the Rathaus is when working (temporarily) from Germany?

 

My girlfriend will be working remotely from here on a 6 month trial basis 3 weeks from every month. She's employed by an Irish company and pays tax/ has health insurance there.

 

If I understand correctly tax residency only kicks in after 6 months so should be OK paying tax in Ireland for the trial period, but I'm unsure if it's necessary to register at the town hall during this trial period? I think doing so might lead to difficult bureaucracy about health insurance, but also don't want to make life difficult in the future if it becomes a permanent situation.

 

Thanks for any help!

Ronan.

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49 minutes ago, ronanc said:

Does anyone know what the requirement about registering at the Rathaus is when working (temporarily) from Germany?

 

The obligation to register has nothing to do with her employment relationship: If she intents to live in Germany, she must register within two weeks of entering the country. 

 

Quote

 

My girlfriend will be working remotely from here on a 6 month trial basis 3 weeks from every month. She's employed by an Irish company and pays tax/ has health insurance there.

 

It doesn't work that way. Please take a look at the last post in this thread. Replace "USA" with "Ireland" and "you" with "she". 

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You mean she lives here 3 in 4? Or fulltime but works 3 in 4?

 

If the former, that is the sort of thing many of us do before migrating permanently.  I did similar.  I was just visiting.  Not resident. Entirely normal.

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Hi again, thanks for your responses

 

On 1/9/2019, 9:26:45, someonesdaughter said:

 

The obligation to register has nothing to do with her employment relationship: If she intents to live in Germany, she must register within two weeks of entering the country. 

 

 

It doesn't work that way. Please take a look at the last post in this thread. Replace "USA" with "Ireland" and "you" with "she". 

Thanks, that thread was helpful, especially for the longer term outlook should her employer agree to continue with the arrangement after the trial period.

 

On 1/13/2019, 8:48:01, swimmer said:

You mean she lives here 3 in 4? Or fulltime but works 3 in 4?

 

If the former, that is the sort of thing many of us do before migrating permanently.  I did similar.  I was just visiting.  Not resident. Entirely normal.

 

Yep exactly, it would be the former, she will be working fulltime but 1 week from the office in Ireland and 3 weeks remotely from Germany.

 

Thanks,

Ronan.

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She might need to check exactly what her contract says about workplace with that much overseas work. Employers often face implications when workers spend majority time in another nation.  The odd long weekend is one thing,  75% of time another.

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Curious if anyone has updates on how they sorted out their employment/healthcare as an employee for a foreign company.

I'll be in that situation myself, residing in Germany working full time for an EU company with no offices in Germany. I already clarified with the company that I'll be an employee (one can't be selbständig if you only have one client).

 

My question is for those of you who are in this situation, did you manage to sort out public healthcare? I contacted AOK but they were stomped and just gave me the number of the Munich call center (as that's were I'll reside).

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No update to add, but I explained how I did it in a message much further up the thread. You'll just be freiwilling versichert with AOK. If your employer is very kind they might even be willing to transfer the employer contribution - and your employee contribution, drawn from your salary (both contributions calculated according to German rules, not the rules of the country where your company is)  - directly to the AOK every month. Mine was not.  It's up to the employee in Germany to get the employer (in EU outside of Germany) to contribute the right amount and to make sure the AOK gets it. Your non-German EU employer may balk at paying the German rate, although they're required to do so under European Worker Mobility regulations. In my case my UK employer couldn't cope with paying the Barmer directly so they paid the employer portion to me and I transferred that money plus my employee portion to the Barmer. Barmer did everything from there (as they do when you have a German employer, too), making sure the payments enter the social insurance scheme under my name. 

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Rather than opening a new thread I will continue this one.

 

My GF's German employer (normal salaried employee) is going to close the German branch office but they would like my GF to be able to continue working for them (home office as at present) based out of their French branch office with presumably a new French contract. It would be worth some "admin" effort on her part as the position is not badly paid and the flexibility to work from home is really important (son just started school).

 

Am I correct in understanding that her French office would need to transfer to her the full (gross) amount of her salary each month and she would need to make 2 transfers, one to the Finanzamt (Income tax) and one to the KK (for KK and all the other social insurances). She does not want to become a freelancer as she has no interest in gaining additional real clients and the Scheinselbständigkeit would be quite obvious.

 

She will clearly need some professional advice as to the amounts and whatnot but it seems it is doable and not ridiculously complicated, is that about right?

 

Would a Lohnsteuerhilfeverein be able to advise here?

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Yes, it should be do-able. She'll need to get a document (the new contract?) specifically outlining the new employment situation (i.e. that she's not been sent/"entsendet" by the employer to Germany, but that she's a regular cross-border employee). The contract should include written recognition by the employer that they will pay her social insurance and KK at the German rates.  Even better if you can convince the French employer to do the monthly transfer of employer and employee portions of social insurance and health care contributions directly to the KK. (The KK doesn't care who pays it, as long as it gets paid.) Then it's a matter of speaking to the KK to confirm the workflow (how much/when they will get the money, category of insurance coverage: freiwillig versichert?) and so on. Contact the Finanzamt separately and they'll explain what they need (whether they want monthly advance payments of estimated income tax or whether your wife should prepare to pay a lump sum when she files her German tax return for the first year; after the first year they may change their recommendation, depending on the sums involved and how payment has worked).

 

Can't advise about the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein, though I would imagine they'd be able to advise your wife about her income tax just as much as they would be able to advise any other person employed under German tax regulations. Might as well talk directly to the Finanzamt first, though. (Lohnsteuerhilfevereine would not be the right people to advise about the arrangement of employer contributions toward social insurances, etc., though. That gets into European Worker Mobility regulations, and I wouldn't expect most of them to be on top of that, though I may be wrong.)

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I was in a similar situation before my company opened a German subsidiary. There were several of us though, so the company hired a company (Steuerberatungsgesellschaft) to take care of payroll and tax returns. You might find it easier for the first year to do the same or unnecessary if you are fluent in German.

The first year I paid tax in a lump sum, after that I paid quarterly.

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