Did freelance work as a student - What to do now?

18 posts in this topic

Hi,

This is my first post here, but I read the forums quite often and I am very thankful to all the people for all the discussions.

 

I am posting this for my friend. She is a non-EU student doing her masters at KTH institute of technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Last semester, she received an Erasmus scholarship to complete her Master thesis at the TU Munich, hence she moved to Munich in Jan 2013.

 

She has a Swedish residence permit until September 2013, and also received a German student residence permit until the end of June, when her thesis was supposed to be finished.

 

She did some part-time freelancing work in an IT company for three months from February, since the residence permit allowed her to work for 120 full days or 240 half days. The work has already been completed and the contract terminated, however neither she nor I did any research regarding whether she could have worked as a freelancer.

 

Now when I search the net and particularly in TT forums, it seems that for most students, the visa mentions something like 'Selbständige Tätigkeit nicht gestattet' which prohibits working as a freelancer.

 

However, my friend's visa mentions this (the whole statement):

 

"Auflagen zum Visum Nur zum Austauschstudium an der Fakultät für Elektro-Technik der TUM. Der Aufenthaltstitel erlischt mit Exmatrikulation aus o.g Studiengang oder bei Fachrichtungs--Hochschulwechsel. Erwerbstätigkeit nicht gestattet. AusnahmeUnselbständige Beschäftigung bis yu insgesamt 120 Tage 240 halbe Tage im Jahr sowie Ausübung studentischer Nebentätigkeit erlaubt. Fachpraktikum , sofern in der Studienverordndung, vorgeschrieben, gestattet."

 

With my limited knowledge of German, what I make out is that this does not explicitly prohibit her from working as a freelancer. However, I am not completely sure.

 

Could anyone kindly help us out here?

 

Also, she is now going to have to extend her student residence permit for a month or so, since her thesis supervisor wants the extension. So we are worried if this can cause any issue? Is there any opinion on this?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Cheers!

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I'm afraid it does explicitly prohibit her from working as a freelancer. She is allowed Unselbständige Beschäftigung - employed work - but no other work.

 

I'm afraid I can't tell you what, if any, consequences this might have on her ability to continue her studies here.

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Thanks for your quick response. Would anyone have any idea what we could do next? Should we report this to someone? As I mentioned before, her contract has already ended and she is not doing the work anymore.

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Who is going to tell the Ausländerbehörde about her freelancing?

Don't worry, just apply for the extension (don't forget to submit a letter from her supervisor asking for the extension), and that's it.

 

She will have to declare the freelance income in her tax return, but that will happen in 2014, until 31. May 2014.

For details on how to fill in the tax forms for the tax return, please see the turquoise section of the TT Elster wiki.

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Don't you need a tax number in order to bill freelance jobs? How did your friend bill the customer?

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Krieg, she sent invoices; however she was neither asked, nor gave a tax number. All the invoices were properly paid though, and the company transferred the money to her bank account.

 

PandaMunich, what I did not mention in my first post, is that even after this one extension, she might have another contract as an employee at the university on completion of her masters. This contract is not yet finalized though, and we were just looking at the initial list of required documents that the university provided when we found out this problem.

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Ah, the company also is in trouble with this, as they need to check the status

of people working for them (potential fine). However, this can work for you:

 

As a student (also without the proper work permit), I worked for Siemens.

Months later, they suddenly found out the problem and were horrified. So much

in fact, that they went and got me the proper permit :)

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Thanks for your reply.

She is anyway going to apply for the proper permit for her thesis extension, as well as a possible further contract for an employment with the university. However, what we currently worry is if this is going to affect her in anyway, especially when going to extend the current student permit, or when applying for a work permit. Essentially, should we go and disclose this to some authority?

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Disclaimer:

This is not legal advice!

 

I *think* if you are going to apply for the proper permit (to work as a freelancer) very

soon, then I would go and do that ASAP and repair the situation first. I *believe* if questions

arise later this will put you in a much better position.

 

And fill out out an honest tax declaration - otherwise the Finanzamt will catch her via

the company's tax declaration (happened to me once).

 

What do our legal beagles think?

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Let me just clarify that - the new work permit she will apply for (as I said it is not completely decided yet) would be for a job contract at the university, and not as a freelancer per se.

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If she feels the need to confess, let her confess to the Ausländerbehörde, if not, not.

It doesn't matter one way or the other, nobody will care.

 

You are stressing yourself too much over this, relax.

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Well, she is obviously worried whether this might affect her residence permit in anyway. And searching other threads on similar topics throws up threads where people are talking about deportation :).

 

Also, at present she has to apply for the Sozialversicherungsausweis, for her contract with the university, and she did not get it while working with the above mentioned employer. And the university wants to know whether she has worked before in Germany and we don"t know whether to say yes or no...

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The Sozialversicherungsausweis is about being an employee, freelancers don't need it.

 

And what the university is asking is whether she has been an employee before in Germany, because then she would already have a Sozialversicherungsnummer (it gets issued by the Krankenkasse) and a Sozialversicherungsausweis.

 

So the answer is no, she hasn't yet been an employee in Germany.

This "no" just means that the university will now know that it also has to apply for a Sozialversicherungsnummer for her at the Krankenkasse, there is no further darker meaning behind the question.

 

Also, if she had been an employee in Germany before, her data would have been entered into the electronic tax card system (= ELStAM), and the university would just have to access this database to find out her employee tax class.

 

Since she hasn't yet been an employee, she will also have to go in person to the Finanzamt (with her passport, Anmeldebestätigung and Steuer-Identifikationsnummer which she got sent by post by the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) and apply for and immediately get a paper "Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug" (which is what they now call the tax card = Lohnsteuerkarte, i.e. the piece of paper which states her tax class), and which she will then have to give to the university, details in point 4 in the list in post 16 in New Relocating to Munich: Feeling a little lost.

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That is really useful information, thank you very much, PandaMunich. Essentially what you are saying is to follow the same procedure as when joining your first job in Germany. I get that point of view. But as you mentioned in a previous post, suppose she were to declare this income from the freelance job while submitting the tax returns next year, or infact, if they find out about this by any other means, do you think there would be any repercussions since this job was essentially violating a condition of her student visa?

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Hmmm...

Somehow we are still feeling a bit worried. What we are thinking of doing now is to first try and contact the company and see if they can do something, like providing a changed contract for the time of work - as I understand, this is an issue for them as well. In case this is not possible we are planning to go to the Ausländerbehörde and report this.

My friend is seriously worried about the prospect of her visa extension not being granted, or something of that sort. I wonder if going to or not going to the Ausländerbehörde will have any effect on it?

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She talked with the company. They told her that since they have archived that previous contract somewhere, no change can be made to it. Also, they are suggesting that she keeps totally quiet about it, and when declaring tax next year, declare it as some special income (a german word starting with Z). Ofcourse the question we now have is whether it is to our advantage or not to keep quiet? Can anyone give any suggestions?

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On 2013/6/14 上午11:02:14, hkmppd said:

She talked with the company. They told her that since they have archived that previous contract somewhere, no change can be made to it. Also, they are suggesting that she keeps totally quiet about it, and when declaring tax next year, declare it as some special income (a german word starting with Z). Ofcourse the question we now have is whether it is to our advantage or not to keep quiet? Can anyone give any suggestions?

So may I ask how she dealt with the problem in the end? Did she go to the Ausländerbehörde to confess or file the tax return in the next year?

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