Freelance for Germany from abroad

13 posts in this topic

Been in Germany for almost 4 years, graduated from uni here last year, got me a tax number, did a bit of freelance work last year (Kleinunternehmer), paid my taxes, and all went well.

 

A while ago I decided to leave and move back home (and I will be in about a month), but recently the company I did freelance work for last year has asked me if I’m interested in doing it again for a short time, while abroad. I’m considering doing it, and perhaps maybe find other projects from German companies and make it a full-time thing.

1. So, it’s possible freelancing for German companies without having to be a resident here? Will I need some kind of German freelancer-visa for this?

 

2. Where I’m moving to there’s no taxes, it’s 100% tax-free. From what I’ve read online, you need to pay taxes in the country where you are registered as a resident, so what happens in my case where we have no taxes? Do I pay them in Germany instead? Or nothing at all? and do I need to say anything to the Finanzamt? 

 

3. For someone with very little experience, will it be too hard to get freelance contracts (not as company employee), if I’m not in the country all the time?

 

4. Knowing that money is not a concern, would it be possible to actually work this out in a way where I can freelance for German companies while spending about half my time in Germany and half back home? Because again, I’m not trying to make consistent big bucks from freelancing, my main goal is to slowly gain more work experience working remotely on a project basis, while being able to fly back and forth between here and there. 

 

 

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  1. Yes. No.
  2. No. Yes. No, but you do have to tell them that you are leaving the country and are therefore giving up your freelance activity in Germany.
    Just write them a letter long these lines. In it you tell them that you will stop freelancing on June 30th and that you will submit your tax return for 2015 before May 31st 2016. Please remember that you will have to declare all income you make in 2015 after leaving Germany in line 98 of the Mantelbogen ESt 1A, they will not be taxed by Germany, but Germany will set its tax rate on the income that you had while being resident in Germany according to your total 2015 income:

    ************************************************************************************
    An
    Finanzamt München, Abteilung .... (which section is responsible for you is written on your last Bescheid)
    Deroystr. 4
    80332 München

    Betrifft: Aufgabe der selbständigen Tätigkeit zum 30.06.2015
    Steuernummer: your tax number

                                                                                                                                 München, den 23.05.2015
    Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

    hiermit teile ich Ihnen mit, daß ich meine selbständige Tätigkeit zum 30.06.2015 aufgebe, und Deutschland verlasse.
    Ich werde meine Einkommensteuererklärung für 2015 zwischen dem 01.01.2016 und dem 31.05.2016 einreichen. 

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen
    your signature
    Hannah ....

     
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Panda, you are awesome, as always. I am reviving this thread because I might be in a similar situation soon, with two main differences:

 

1. No 100% tax free income (sigh). It's a neighboring EU country with a similar set up to Germany.

 

2. Some of the work might be done at my German clients' offices (although most should be done from home). That means that I would spend some time in Germany, but I don't know how much (or even if this is going to happen at this stage). If I spend too much time in Germany, after becoming resident in a second country would that cause me a headache of where taxes get paid?

 

 

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Not a problem as long you give up your apartment here and have clearly moved to that other country, including all your family.

If you keep a spouse in Germany, the Finanzamt would assume the centre of your life (= Lebensmittelpunkt) to still be in Germany.

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Hi there

 

I have an additional question-

 

I'm from the UK but living and working in Germany doing a combination of a mini job and working in music as a kleinunternehmer. I have the possibility to return to the UK this summer to work there for a couple of weeks. Is it possible to invoice the client there and include it in my German tax/work setup? As opposed to paying UK taxes.

 

any help would be much appreciated!

 

 

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Yes, of course.

In fact you have to do it this way since you're resident in Germany, which also means that you're tax resident here.

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Thanks Panda, really appreciate people taking the time to help each other out. 

 

Danke :)

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Hi, 

I am a freelance and I am planning to move to the US from Germany with the B1/B2. I will open a company in the US and keep on freelancing for my German clients from there. The question is:

- can I pay taxes only in the US? I will have to cancel from the finanzamt, I know, but since I will rent my apartment in Berlin, I  probably still have to pay income taxes (coming from the rent) in Germany. So I cannot really completely cancel from finanzamt right? Or can I inform them that I am leaving Germany and that the my only income in DE will be from the rent from

now on? 

- when I invoice my german clients from the US, where will they pay? Can I keep the german account? An overseas wiretransfer everytime would bee too expensive. 

 

Thankyou!

 

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Hello All,

 

I have a similar question as Rikky.

I am moving outside of the EU but want to keep freelancing for German clients. Do I need to include my Steuernummer in the invoices, or just my registration of the new country? Also, can I keep receiving the payments in my German bank account?

 

Thank you all!

Best

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19 minutes ago, PedroGSG said:

Hello All,

 

I have a similar question as Rikky.

I am moving outside of the EU but want to keep freelancing for German clients. Do I need to include my Steuernummer in the invoices, or just my registration of the new country?

 

Your German Steuernummer will become void when you leave the country (you need to do Abmelden with the Finanzamt and do a Aufgabebilanz as part of your 2018 tax declaration).

 

Quote

 

Also, can I keep receiving the payments in my German bank account?

 

 

Ask your German bank if you can keep your bank account without residence.

 

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Hi there,

 

I have some related questions and I thought I'd ask them here, instead of starting a new thread.

 

I'm a German national (naturalized) and I've always worked here as an employee... If I move outside the EU (overseas), I know that, under certain terms & conditions, I am allowed to do freelance work either remotely or on-site in Germany or the EU:

 

1. Are there any limitations regarding how long I can do so within a calendar year? For instance, can I take a 6-month contract? / Can I take 2 non-consecutive 3-month contracts?

 

2. I have read something about not more than 80% of your total income as a freelancer to be allowed to come from only one client (Scheinselbständigkeit?), but honestly this was so confusing. Is this really the case? Does this mean I could not do just one short-term contract with just one client within a year? Does this apply even if you reside outside Europe? Could someone maybe shed some light on this topic?

 

3. Are there any considerable advantages/disadvantages in registering an EU-based company and do all the administrative/financial freelancing paperwork on the company's name compared to simply doing everything directly as a private person?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you guys could provide on this!

 

Best regards. 

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