EXPATTAX - Thomas Zitzelsberger - English-speaking tax advice, available to clients Germany-wide

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As an expat freelancer newly arrived in Germany I am a little confused - do I need a tax consultant AND an accountant, or are these the same thing? Surely a German accountant would have a solid knowledge of German taxation. And if I hire both, do they communicate with each other or am I supposed to relay the tax information to the accountant?

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I'm sure these people are very good, and they responded to my enquiry very quickly and were very polite and helpful. However the amount they quoted me (~six hundreds incl. mwst) was just way out of proportion to my income (IMHO) and definitely out of proportion to the amount I can expect to get back, even considering that most of their fee is tax deductible.

 

Instead I've got an appointment with someone through lohi.de who charges proportionately to income, which not surprisingly is a fraction of the above amount and pretty consistent with what I've paid to have my taxes done in the UK or Australia.

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the quote i got was even higher than the previous poster.

Similarly, from previous experience in different countries tariff was close to 10% of expected return. with this quote it look closer to a 50%, which basically means doing it alone (even with zero knowledge of German) would lead to better outcome.

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I've sent him a request and he called me after 2 minutes :o

Then he told me that with him I would spend more than what I could get back so he

suggested me to use another organization.

 

Thanks Thomas :D

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i requested that mr. z contact me a looooong time ago, was never contacted. too busy i guess, boo on that. i have since found a competant and very reasonably priced steuerberater here in berlin. anyone want a referral send a pm.

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Hi Thomas

 

after searching for over a year and contacting more than a few so called tax consultants - you were the only one who gave clear advice especially pertaining to living and working in Germany as a UK national - not only for income tax but also for inheritance planning. Thank you very much - highly recommmended.

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Really appreciated his fast reply and then floowing phone call.

I sent Thomas my address per email so he could send a bill for the talk.

He immediately called me and said there would be no charge for his help as it did not take long.

I have known lawyers for example, who have charged me 50 Euro for a 2 min talk on the phone.

 

Thank you Thomas

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Thomas was quick to reply to my inquiries and set me up with the Finanzamt in Berlin, getting me a tax id (steurnummer) pretty quickly.

 

His prices are a bit more than what you would pay in Berlin as he's based in Munich but he can get you on your way quickly to navigating the hellish German tax system.

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He seems to have removed all the negative points he wrote yesterday, so he's probably worried about any potential backlash.

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As first time in Germany I faced lot of problems understanding the rules of the game here. I was coming from very simple and clear tax system where you or your company submit copy of your contract and need to fill one piece of paper and nothing else for all your working period in the country. Nice but not applicable in Germany. Lucky I get in touch with Mr.Zitzelberger who proved is one of the best by giving the correct solution in short time. He processed my papers and submits in only 2 weeks. As I was very pleased by his work and professionalism I'd like to continue to collaborate with him and I will confident will be no problems with tax authorities in Germany.

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I had two questions for Thomas, one in relation to reclaiming tax for 2009 and the other in relation to the implications of performing work outside of my normal employment, and the differences between working on a freelance basis and the tax-free €400 per month option. I e-mailed him to arrange a chat, and he called me and spoke to me over the phone. We had a detailed conversation, during which he clearly answered my questions and explained everything I wanted to know, in perfect English. He even recommended who I should go to for help with completing the tax form, which he felt would be cost effective for me, and then followed up by sending me an e-mail with their details. Thomas helped me enormously, didn't charge me a penny (even though he had made the call!), and didn't benefit from the conversation in any way. I won't hesitate in giving him the highest possible recommendation to anyone looking for financial advice. Look no further.

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Just wanted to add to the positive feedback regarding the services provided by Thomas Zitzelsberger. He offered far more advice and answers to questions I had than my new employer was able to do, and this before I had even arrived to the country. I actually look forward to using his services to do my taxes when the time comes!

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I start salaried work on 12th July in Dusseldorf. I am paying tax monthly (as in PAYE) so I assumed that it would be pretty straight-forward. Is this wrong? Do I need tax advice? I dont intend to buy a house or anything...

 

Richie.

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If you are in tax classes I or IV (as listed on your Lohnsteuerkarte, a coloured card you will have had posted to you after you did your registration, Anmeldung, with your local council) then you have nothing to do, you can pay your taxes every month (deducted by your employer automatically) and forget about them. All other classes then I believe you're required to do a return each year.

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Thomas helped me out today on the phone. I'm a US citizen, earning a bit of interest money from German banks, part of which is being held by the Finanzamt, and was afraid I'd have to file a German tax return. Thomas said that this probably isn't necessary, based on the fact that my total income is low enough not to have to file a return (under 8000 Euro, if I remember correctly). I'll be applying to the Finanzamt directly to get a refund of the money withheld for taxes. We'll see how it goes, with my minimal German.

 

Thomas was very friendly, seemed very knowledgeable, spoke perfect English, and didn't want any money for the 10 or 15 minutes we talked! (though I offered it)

 

I'll be reporting back here about how the battle goes with the Finanzamt, and anything that might be of general interest in this area of life here.

 

cheers,

doug

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We went to a tax guy and were told it was not worth it to file, the return was less then the filling and we were under tax class 3.

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