I don't have European bank account anymore. SteuerGo Asking for IBAN

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Hello, 

I lived in Germany for 6 months last year but I've moved back to the US since. I'm currently doing my German tax with SteuerGo and it keeps throwing me an error saying that IBAN and BIC numbers are required. I've closed my German bank account and as far as I know, US banks don't use IBAN. What to do? If I don't fill these fields in, would they (the Finanzamt?) send a check to the US instead?

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You shouldn't have to provide an IBAN. The Finanzamt will send you a "bill" that will need to be settled by a certain date, which you can do by international wire transfer.

If the Finanzamt owes you money, it could get more complicated than if you owe them money. There are no checks in Germany.

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Panda, I didn't read up on this, but can a German Verrechnungsscheck be deposited in the US?

If I understood correctly, the OP only has a US account now and is wondering how to receive a tax refund.

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Yes.

Issued some cheques back in the time when they were still in general use and they were deposited in non-EU countries. The only problem was that the non-EU bank charged high fees for this service.

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It may be cheaper to get a Payoneer pre-paid card. It's open to US residents and you get a European IBAN that accepts third party payments.

 

If you don't mind doing something slightly shady, you could try and convince Revolut.com that you still live in Germany. Their pre-paid card rocks: it's free, accepts euro, sterling and US payments and performs commission free currency conversions at nearly perfect rates.

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Hello,

According to SteuerGo I'm supposed to get most of the tax we paid back (and it'll directly go to the IRS to pay for the tax for THAT German income since we don't qualify for foreign income exclusion, lol) - so I do hope that 1. They'll be able to send a check and 2. I'll be able to cash it here :) 

 

Smaug, I'll read up on Payoneer to see if it's a feasible option.

 

Thanks much for the help, guys!

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I recommend you to leave your mobile phone number for an employee of the Tax Office to call you. They at least where I live are quite happy to call and discuss any difficulties in the tax declaration.

 

Alternatively, call them and ask about your options before submitting tax return. You will know for sure if you get a check.

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14 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

Of course there are cheques in Germany

 

In theory, maybe. Never seen one since I moved here.

 

14 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

If you didn't fill in a bank connection (IBAN, BIC) in the Mantelbogen, then the Finanzamt will send you a cheque by snail mail to your US address.

 

He'd have to (1) convince the Finanzamt to issue a cheque (2) convince the Finanzamt to mail the cheque abroad, and (3) convince his US bank to cash it.

 

Things would have been far easier for the OP if he hadn't closed his German bank account while he still had loose ends in Germany.

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Do you have a friend over here with a German account? Perhaps you could instruct the Steueramt to transfer the money to their account and have them transfer it to you.

 

Thinking out loud.

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