Back payments for social security/health insurance

9 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I have a question about social security I may or may not owe, as well as backpayment limitations. I've gone through various threads here and elsewhere, as well as speaking to the right people (I think!) but am getting conflicting advice/information. Any help welcome, thanks. You can skip to the questions below, but the background below will help.

 

2009-2012 I was a freiberueflicher, as a language trainer. When I first registered I was told by finanzamt that I dind't have to pay pension and unemployment benefits, so I didn't as I was starting out on very low income, and the private health insurance was bad enough. I was very open about this. I am fully up-to-date with income tax.

 

2012 I started a full time job, but have kept up some of the freelance work on the side, which works out on average about 500 per month. I also switched to the "public" health system with the TKK. On application, I told TKK I was earning this amount on the side and that it was not a mini job. They said I didn't need to pay them anything extra. I called TKK again twice more to double-check over the course of the firts year. TKK reafirmed that so long as I didn't earn more privately than through my main job, I didn't have to pay them anything. I striaght up asked if I shouldn't be paying them 15.5% and they said no.

 

My company asked for a sozialversicherungnummer. So, I called up and asked for one. They asked what I had been doing for the last 3 years, so I told them straight and also that I was informed at the beginning I didn't have to pay for pension and other social benefits. He was happy and I got my number a few days later with a nice explanation letter in English. That was about 17 months ago - I've not heard anything from DRV since.

 

Now, I've heard horror stories about claims for backpayments. Some saying there's a cut off of 5 years, but one lady I spoke to was being pursued for 12 years back-payments!

 

So, the questions:

 

1) Is TKK right, do I really not have to pay them extra for krankenversicherung and sozialversicherung? I have asked them three times already! I mean, what can I do if they won't take my money!

2) I have given everyone every opportunity to ask my for sozialversichurung, but they haven't. Can I sleep safely or should I expect a letter one day asking for years of back-payments.

3) I have also been told that back-payments can only be claimed for 5 years. Is that right?

 

I am pretty much saving up most of my on-the-side work in case they want some back-dated contributions from me, but no-one is asking me for any contribution, or telling me I don't need to pay.

 

I have a sum I am aiming to have saved (calculated using www.netto-brutto-rechner.de as a yardstick), before I march down to the DRV and learn the fate of my savings. I'm probably a good two years off that amount and would really appreciate some pointers from anyone in the know. If the cut off really is 5 years, I might just keep my head below the parapet until I have my target sum.

 

Thanks again

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You wrote, " I called them". You cannot file a telephone call for future use, you may someday need WRITTEN proof that this is what they told you. I suggest making an appointment discussing this with them again and asking for a short written statement confirming what was discussed and agreed upon.

 

I too have heard horror stories about back payments but mainly in the state pension scheme. The Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund has a list of all professions that automatically make you a compulsory member of the state pension scheme. A lot of self-employed people have later found out that they should have paid contributions from the beginning and have to pay contributions for past years. If you cannot pay you will be charged interest each month for the missing contributions.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are absolutely right, I did telephone with the Krankenversicherung - but in addition to putting it in writing with the application, which I completed with them on the other end of the phone. That's why I called twice to double check. If they don't want my money then great, but I will be writing to them. However, I am aware this might also bring me to the attention to all and sundry, should I have been ill-advised.

 

As far as I can see they are a separate issue to the Rentenversicherung. So, it might be that I don't have to pay the additional Krankenversicherung (maybe it's a TKK thing?), but I might have to backpay pension...possibly.

 

My first meeting with the Finanzamt was actually face to face, so I do feel it needs to be in writing. But I would like to know where I stand before doing so.

 

If I'm going to get charged interest, then better do this sooner than later. That said, if backpayments are limited to the last 5 years, then in one year's time I will already be in a stronger position, both as I will have one years worth of earnings that are safe (if this is true), as well as more in the bank to pay them with. This saves more than interest I might be building up. I'm not trying to avoid what I owe, but do feel somewhat aggrieved that I rely on the advice of those who are supposed to be in the know, perhaps to my detriment.

 

I'm also a little less green than with my first meeting with the finanzamt and even if what they told me was true, it could be there were half a dozen forms I should have filled in but didn't in order to make it legit. I've been here long enough to know that should these people all have got their facts wrong that there would be a strong denial that anybody would ever have told me that.

 

I've been all over the DRV's website many times, but without too much success. It has been updated/improved now and seems to have more information. Amongst other things, it says that as an exception to the rule: "Wenn Sie als Lehrer, Erzieher oder Pflegeperson selbständig sind und versicherungspflichtige Arbeitnehmer (auch Auszubildende) beschäftigen, sind Sie nicht rentenversicherungspflichtig". However, It also lists teachers and trainers earning more than 450 p/m as being verpflichtet elsewhere (even as a side job).

 

I also saw a reference to the fact you should register within 3 months if you want to opt out (regardless of whether I am in that category as instructed or not). Sadly I was not told about this when I first met with the Finanzamt. As is often the case, they may have assumed I knew...

 

That's why the 5 year rule is especially important for me to know. I haven't found official reference to this anywhere. I did see I could buy the legal framework from them for €11, but at 1700 odd pages long, the 5 years would be up before I got through it!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way as a side question.

 

If one pays the 19.5% off the net income, is that a tax deductible expense? Or is the income tax deducted from the net sum (minus the usual deductibles).

 

If it's tax deductible I'll get the double whammy of backpaying, and having paid too much tax that I can't claim back because it's too late...Nice.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear moderating members,

 

The title to my post was changed, but now the title is completely misleading. This is not the case at all. TKK have NOT told me they want back payment at all.

 

Changing the title to this does not help those reading the post, as it contradicts the information contained within. It looks like I am the one confusing the reader and may discourage replies.

 

I cannot edit as I do not have the rights to do so yet. Kindly change to "Back Payment for Social Security" if you like.

 

Thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading through threads at TT can easily become an encyclopedic endeavor, particularly re: ‘Health Insurance.’

 

My understanding of the ‘backdating’ penalty issue concerning health insurance is that certain policies (like those offered by Care Concept, Mawista and others) — even though they may be accepted by the Auslanderamts for purposes of obtaining a residence permit — run the policyholder the risk of later being required to pay penalties for the entire period those policies were in effect if/when he/she switches to a ‘fully comprehensive’ policy.

 

Does this penalty continue to be applied as of the current date — or has it (hopefully) been eliminated or at least limited in scope?

 

If it is still in effect, do all ‘fully comprehensive’ insurers apply the penalty, or do only certain ones choose to impose it?

 

Last but not least, can anyone shed light on what a ‘fully comprehensive’ policy has that the Care Concept, etc. policies (i.e., the ones that get you in trouble) don’t?

 

Many thanks.

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I started this post principally regarding social security backpayments, I can perhaps shed a little light from my own experience concerning your health insurance question. My knowledge is based on circa 2009 when the new rules were being introduced.

 

I do not know the providers you mentioned, but most if not all overseas providers of health insurance effectively fell foul of the law thanks to changes made in January 2009 (I think). Basically the law was amended to require a minimum level of coverage - if this wasn't provided, then the policy holder was not covered to the minimum standard and could face a fine and/or backpayment.

 

I even called AXA UK to see if their policy would cover me (as it was 50% cheaper than the German equivalent like for like). They confirmed their own policy was not recognised by German law as fulfilling the requirements. It seems it was the really small things that the overseas providers didn't offer that meant they were not legally covered, such as simple check-ups.

 

Although this smacks of breach of EU anti-competition law - indirectly handing the whole market to German providers - it is what it is. You may well be covered for your needs, but in the eyes of the German government this may not be enough. You really need to speak to your providers if you think you fall into this group.

 

My own health insurance took about 4 months to sort out. I was with AXA (Germany) and they backdated for the full 4 months, minus a few elements that cannot be backdated. I was told not every insurance company does this, but they can and are entitled to do so.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Although I started this post principally regarding social security backpayments, I can perhaps shed a little light from my own experience concerning your health insurance question. My knowledge is based on circa 2009 when the new rules were being introduced.

Thanks for your reply. I didn’t intend my post to be added to this thread. It was a new post, moved here by an administrator. I personally find this amalgamating of posts to be problematic, considering that the positioning of a new post in an existing thread, one with possibly a different emphasis (as is yours), is unlikely to attract the same attention as a new post and may even justifiably strike the reader as illogical in its relation to prior posts. The 'illogic' is enhanced by the fact that the 'insertion point' is determined only by 'date,' not by coherence with prior posts in the thread.

 

To my knowledge neither of the insurers I mentioned has in any way fallen “foul of the law.” Both have been recommended by numerous sources, including at least one of the brokers who posts here. As far as I've been able to discern from information gathered to date, other than these insurers (or other similar ones), in my circumstances I would otherwise be limited only to the alternative of an 'international' insurer (no access to ‘German’ insurers), and potentially a policy that would fall into the same category -- i.e., being subject to a later backdating penalty.

 

That was why I had hoped to get clarification about the specific issues I raised -- with the emphasis being on alternatives to the 'international' insurers. With my post now inserted into this thread, which really deals with a different issue (i.e., social security), it's probably unlikely that will happen.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for your reply. I didn’t intend my post to be added to this thread. It was a new post, moved here by an administrator. I personally find this amalgamating of posts to be problematic, considering that the positioning of a new post in an existing thread, one with possibly a different emphasis (as is yours), is unlikely to attract the same attention as a new post and may even justifiably strike the reader as illogical in its relation to prior posts. The 'illogic' is enhanced by the fact that the 'insertion point' is determined only by 'date,' not by coherence with prior posts in the thread.

Sorry you feel that way. One would hope that after 5 years of membership, you would have noticed that threads on identical (or similar, if the similarity is deemed great enough) topics are merged, to keep all the information together in one place. That has always been forum policy.

 

In most cases, this makes the information easier to find, which in turn improves our search engine rankings (which is probably how you found us in the first place), which attracts new members, who in turn (hopefully) contribute to the community.

 

Moreover, most of our active members use the "View new posts" feature to read the forum, so the newest post will always rise to the top of the page in that view, no matter how old the thread in question is.

 

If you are unhappy with the level of service you're receiving from the all-volunteer moderation staff and the Toytown Community, you're welcome to request a refund of your membership fee at any time.

7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now