Kindergeld Overpayment

6 posts in this topic

Hello, I would appreciate some advice/thoughts on this issue. 

 

I used to work and live in Germany for over a year, and left end of 2013. As I don't speak German, all the relocation/registration procedures was organised by the company human resources. Things got difficult and the company was downsized to the extent that there isn't any HR personnel. When I left Germany, I was erroneously told that I only needed to de-register with the Burgeramt. I did that and left the country quickly. 3 years later, I realised Kindergeld has been depositing money in the German bank account that I have totally forgotten about. I thought that de-registering with the Burgeramt will automatically inform Kindergeld but apparently not. I immediately informed Familienkasse, had to do it several times as they responded very slowly, and then finally stopped the payments. I was asked to pay back the overpayment of several thousand euros, which I did. Later on, I was informed that this is considered 'tax evasion' and asked to pay backdated interest of several hundred euros. 

 

I am not sure if I should appeal the backdated interest demand or just pay up. In addition, I've also read that some are prosecuted later on for 'tax evasion' on similar circumstances. Fraud isn't the intention here, as the money was untouched, but probably negligence for not knowing the proper procedures. Any thoughts on this matter, i.e. paying the backdated interest and the possibility to get fined later on?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Your profile says. Dresden. Are you living  in Germany again?

No, I'm not living in Germany anymore. Sorry, I didn't update my profile. I'm far away from Germany. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no appeal against the interest. 

Kindergeld falls under the Abagabenordnung, and getting Kindergeld that you're not entitled to is classified as tax evasion.

 

Fortunately, you told them about that Kindergeld of your own accord, this corresponds to a "Selbstanzeige" (= voluntary disclosure), which is an instrument in tax law by which a tax evader avoids criminal proceedings, as long as:

  1. he pays back what he wasn't entitled to, and
  2. pays the interest of 6% per year on the amount he wasn't entitled to (see §238 AO in conjunction with §235 AO).

So as long as you pay both the Kindergeld back and the interest on it, the case is closed and you don't have to worry any further about this, see section S6.4 on page 142 in here:

"S 6.4 Nachentrichtungspflicht (§ 371 Abs. 3 AO)

(1) 1 Die strafbefreiende Wirkung der Selbstanzeige hängt stets davon ab, dass der Täter oder Teilnehmer die ungerechtfertigt erlangten Beträge und die Hinterziehungszinsen nach § 235 AO innerhalb einer zu bestimmenden Frist entrichtet (§ 371 Abs. 3 AO)."

 

If you only pay the Kindergeld but not the interest, you will be prosecuted for tax evasion, and you will end up paying not only that interest, but also fines. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the very useful information, PandaMunich. Looks like I'll have to pay up to avoid problems later on. I was initially worried about this sentence on the letter 'Etwaige weitere Forderungen bleiben hiervon unberührt' and wondering what's next after paying the backdated interest. It also took them 6 months to get back to me.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sentence is just there in case they find out you moved away from Germany even earlier than you said, that they can get back even more Kindergeld from you.

0

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