US-expat moving to US for 1 year for academic fellowship - HELP!

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Hey all,

 

I am a US-expat who has lived in Germany for 10.5 years and has been employed in German academia for most of that time. I am married to a German, and I have a Daueraufenthaltserlaubnis-EU, which I got even before we got married. I am currently on ALG-1, but I recently received a fellowship for 1 academic year in the US, which is set to commence in August 2020. I can decide how to divide the amount of the fellowship between salary, research funds, and relocation costs.

 

Right now, I'm trying to figure out how things are going to look for taxes. I've always claimed the foreign earned income exclusion for my US taxes, since my salary has never exceeded the maximum amount allowed for the FEIE. However, I am wondering what will happen if I leave Germany for a year. Clearly I will owe US taxes on my US-earned income. But what about German taxes? Should I "unregister" my residency at the Bürgerbüro, or change it to a "2.Wohnsitz"? What happens to my permanent residency permit if I am not registered as a resident anywhere in German? I know I can always re-claim residency because of my spouse, but it would be nice if I didn't have to re-register at or pay any fees to the Ausländeramt. 

 

I'm also trying to figure out what I should do for health insurance. I'm currently on public health insurance (b/c unemployed). Does it make more sense to pay out-of-pocket for German health insurance (+international coverage), or would it be better to go on US health insurance for a year and then come back.

 

Any advice on these matters would be greatly appreciated. I also plan to call the Finanzamt, the Bürgerbüro, and the Ausländerbehörde. But I need to know the right questions to ask. Thanks in advance!

 

Griff

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