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Dodea retiree

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hello all,

 

my parents are both from US but mum is just European and doesn't know or want to go back so is retiring in Germany. they are both in 70s but are very busy and active!!! amazing. Anyway, dad just retired and they have held a USAREUR driving licence for 40+ years. they need a German licence now but no one at Ramstein is explaining and an office in Kusel said they need to take their licences all over again as their US licence expired in 1970s. 

they have had to hire a car for the past year. Mum seems to think the German government want 40% of her cars worth and she won't register them. Understandably. 

if anyone can help i will direct them to someone who knows the legality. they have heard conflicting stories. i emailed USAREUR  HQ and they said go to Licence office Ramstein. Dad will have to go back there. Somebody must know about  USAREUR. 

thought just maybe someone here could direct me?

 

thank you so much

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Sorry I cant help...

 

BUT I do know that the reasoning for the Change in regs is that there have been so many road accidents involving US millitary in Germany where the Americans were at fault.

Many or most of them actually claimed that they thought it was like in the states... 

 

I beleive the test is a 100 question test, and a 30 minute drive test... 

 

And I have to say... "About time too!"..

 

Hopefully they will be taught how to watch the road and not their Cell Phone screen!

 

 

Its nowt to do with Car taxes...

 

As for your parent driving for over 40yrs with an expired license... I hope no one realises this!

 

 

 

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On 8/23/2019, 5:01:56, Kimla said:

Mum seems to think the German government want 40% of her cars worth and she won't register them. Understandably.

 

Understandable. Not really.

 

I have no idea if this tax thing is true but if your parents wish to move to Germany as opposed to living in Germany the context of an other nation outpost/enclave they need to adjust their perceptions. 

 

The German taxpayer will not be subsidising them in the manner they are used to.

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I remember this topic from yonks ago. A usareur license requires a usareur registered car to be valid and you simply can´t drive a hire car or a private car for that matter with only the usareur license.

Your parents will have to do a German license from scratch, so get ready to part with 5 Grand and not every Fahrschule will take seniors.

 

Also, on a side note, most car hire companies have age restrictions for hire cars starting between 70 and 75.

By the way, does FATCA double taxation apply to seniors?

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@Kimla While I do not condone in any way that slack and irresponsible behavior that led your parents to thinking it is okay to drive without de facto licensing for so many years, I see a potential way out.

 

If your parents lived on base for so many years or lived under visa conditions that did not make them bona fide residents of Germany (paying German taxes, utilizing German services, etc.), they can return to the US, renew their licenses, acquire a complete certified driving record from their home state (or all states concerned), have that all translated by a court certified translator, and hope that this registered home state has full reciprocity with the German government on driver's licenses. At minimum, doing all of the above will relieve them from having to do ALL of the practical lesson. They may have to do one or both tests depending on their home state of record in the US (where they voted).

As far as the German government is concerned, they are importing cars from the US. They have to pay whatever import fees are required based on the German calculation. There is nothing to be done there.

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32 minutes ago, slammer said:

By the way, does FATCA double taxation apply to seniors?

 

fatca is not double taxation.  it's a mandate for revealing your assets every year.

 

fatca applies to every US "person" from birth til death.  eta: or change in your US "personhood" (eg acquiring or giving up a green card or citizenship)

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1 minute ago, lisa13 said:

 

fatca is not double taxation.  it's a mandate for revealing your assets every year.

 

fatca applies to every US "person" from birth til death.

True, but the IRS requires every US citizen to file tax returns regardless of where they live and pay the taxes that are due on earnings, that is de-facto a double taxation. However I think you can claim the US taxes against your German ones. But that secret knowledge is way beyond my pay grade.

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dude.  it is not double taxation.  There is a double taxation agreement with Germany so unless you're a dolt, you won't owe taxes in the US unless you have US based income.  And even in that case you won't be double taxed (depending on the type of income you might have to pay the difference between US and German tax rate.  since German rates are higher you'd most likely owe germany)

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23 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

dude.  it is not double taxation.  There is a double taxation agreement with Germany so unless you're a dolt, you won't owe taxes in the US unless you have US based income.  And even in that case you won't be double taxed (depending on the type of income you might have to pay the difference between US and German tax rate.  since German rates are higher you'd most likely owe germany)

I bow before your wisdom, it was a genuine question in the throes of thirst for knowledge.

I only know it from the Swiss side and an American there will be tax-whacked twice, also being American will mean you are toxic to banks and can only get an account with great difficulty as it is up to them to disclose your income to the IRS.

And Swiss banks don´t like the US gunmint doing that.

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5 hours ago, lisa13 said:

dude.  it is not double taxation.  There is a double taxation agreement with Germany so unless you're a dolt, you won't owe taxes in the US unless you have US based income.  And even in that case you won't be double taxed (depending on the type of income you might have to pay the difference between US and German tax rate.  since German rates are higher you'd most likely owe germany)

You will pay double taxes if your income exceeds the threshold of something like $90 000 a year.

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1 hour ago, Neudarmstaedter said:

You will pay double taxes if your income exceeds the threshold of something like $90 000 a year.

 

no you will not.  

 

eta:  unless you are a dolt

 

 

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On 8/23/2019, 5:01:56, Kimla said:

hello all,

 

my parents are both from US but mum is just European and doesn't know or want to go back so is retiring in Germany. they are both in 70s but are very busy and active!!! amazing. Anyway, dad just retired and they have held a USAREUR driving licence for 40+ years. they need a German licence now but no one at Ramstein is explaining and an office in Kusel said they need to take their licences all over again as their US licence expired in 1970s. 

they have had to hire a car for the past year. Mum seems to think the German government want 40% of her cars worth and she won't register them. Understandably. 

if anyone can help i will direct them to someone who knows the legality. they have heard conflicting stories. i emailed USAREUR  HQ and they said go to Licence office Ramstein. Dad will have to go back there. Somebody must know about  USAREUR. 

thought just maybe someone here could direct me?

 

thank you so much

 

To answer your question, the path of least resistance would be for your parents to go back to the US, renew the drivers license and then once back in Germany, upon loosing logistical support (ie, SOFA statust or ID card - which seems to have already happened?), go to the local (German) DMV (Führerscheinstelle) and have them convert the US license to a German license. They will do this depending on the state the US license is from. If it is from a state which is accepted by Germany, no problem (https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/fev_2010/anlage_11.html). If not, they're screwed and will have to get a license from scratch.

 

It has been well known and distributed that everybody who has a USAREUR license must maintain an active, valid US license. There is no excuse for not having followed the regulations on this one, really.

 

Upon loosing logistical support, you can essentially "immigrate" into Germany and at that time declare all of your household goods as part of the move (Übersiedlungsgut). There will be no import duty or VAT to pay (so no "40%"), although of course they will need to pay the yearly car tax (KfZ Steuer) but this isn't too much and everybody in Germany pays this if you want to register a car. And of course gas gets a ton more expensive without SOFA status!

 

Now there is a time limit for all of these things. If they just recently retired they need to get on it! And there is numerous informational material available in the various US agencies on post that pretty specifically clarify exactly what to do.

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yes the foreign income exclusion does have an income limit, but if you exceed that you can claim the foreign tax credit.  

 

please

 

 

 

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On 8/23/2019, 10:01:56, Kimla said:

my parents are both from US but mum

wouldn't that be "mom"?

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@Kimla, when I left government service in 2009, I only needed to visit the USAREUR Registry of Motor Vehicles.  I showed them the USAREUR driving license I had and they created a letter in English and Germany, which I took to the German office to obtain the German driving license.  No course was necessary.  Although the course your parents took is decades old, it was the German version course, merely offered in English.

USAREUR began doing such in the 1980s as it made no sence to test people twice merely on the ground of stepping out of the cover of the SOFA.  A USAREUR license is no different than a German one based upon testing - theory and practical.

Perhaps things have changed since 10 years tim and USAREUR no longer does such, but worth a try.

As far as the car goes and the idea of taxes.  If I recall correctly, the German Government will mandate a two years no sell rule on the car.  It is due to taxes.  Because their car was purchased tax free, they don't want your parents selling it so soon after leaving government service.

Again, that might have changed as well.

 

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On 23.8.2019, 17:01:56, Kimla said:

my parents are both from US but mum is just European and doesn't know or want to go back so is retiring in Germany. they are both in 70s but are very busy and active!!! amazing. Anyway, dad just retired

 

 

On 23.8.2019, 17:01:56, Kimla said:

they have had to hire a car for the past year.

 

When did you father retire? Your parents are both in their 70s, but your father "just" retired, and they've had to rent a car for the past year? Something doesn't add up. If you don't provide accurate info, you can't receive accurate answers.

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