Splitting Time Between Two Countries

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We are discussing splitting time between the US and Germany. We would spend the school year in the US and summers in Germany (about 2 months, though we'd likely spend a couple weeks of that in surrounding countries). What sorts of things do we need to be aware of?

 

1) I understand getting a visa for my partner won't be an issue since it's less than three months. I and our children are German citizens so that's not an issue for us either. If I've misunderstood this, let me know!

2) If my partner wanted to work remotely for that two months or for one month while there, would we run into issues? My understanding is that you cannot work in Germany at all, even remotely for a company based in another country, unless you pay German taxes. I would hate to make a plan and mess this part up! We would just plan accordingly by either not working at all over the summers or getting proper visa's, paying taxes, etc. But I'm unsure about how to best search for rules on this so that we can decide which option is best.

3) I assume a travel health insurance plan of some sort about be allowed since we would technically be vacationing there for that two months? Or would we be required to get on public or private health insurance in Germany because of the length of time? I have had German public insurance so there's a possibility that we could get back on that if needed.

4) I know registering your address is required when you move there. Does this also apply in this situation where it could technically be considered a vacation, though it is two months long?

 

I think that's all the question I have! If you have any other advice or know of any other important factors I might need to be aware of, let me know!

 

Lastly, I know it might be odd to do it this way. Why not just move there, you know? But we want to consider this as an option for a few years and then decide whether or not a full move there makes sense for our family.

 

Thanks!

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4) I know registering your address is required when you move there. Does this also apply in this situation where it could technically be considered a vacation, though it is two months long?

No.

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21 hours ago, mlynn said:

2) If my partner wanted to work remotely for that two months or for one month while there, would we run into issues? My understanding is that you cannot work in Germany at all, even remotely for a company based in another country, unless you pay German taxes. I would hate to make a plan and mess this part up! We would just plan accordingly by either not working at all over the summers or getting proper visa's, paying taxes, etc. But I'm unsure about how to best search for rules on this so that we can decide which option is best.

 

Regarding work and taxes x your husband, I assume your partner works for US companies and they pay him USD into his US bank.

How about the following:

 

for the German authorities: he does not officially work, he's only on holiday

for the US authorities: he continues to work and pay taxes as before, just he is not physically there, they don't need to know where he actually is.

 

Seems neither dishonest nor unethical to me...

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I am not a tax advisor, but I do recollect you need to be resident in Germany for >180 days in a calendar year before you are a tax resident. That's way more than two months, more like six.

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Not an expert here, but to get back onto German Krankenkasse, I would think you need to register, and that will open all the issues re tax etc?

So, a Travel  health plan for you as a family , as tourists?

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39 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Not an expert here, but to get back onto German Krankenkasse, I would think you need to register, and that will open all the issues re tax etc?

So, a Travel  health plan for you as a family , as tourists?

That's my understanding as well but I wanted to make sure I wasn't wrong! Thanks for the confirmation!

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1 hour ago, Metall said:

I am not a tax advisor, but I do recollect you need to be resident in Germany for >180 days in a calendar year before you are a tax resident. That's way more than two months, more like six.

 

Interesting! I will look into this more. One option this makes me think of is that I could contact a tax advisor in Germany since they would be more familiar with German tax laws and such. Thanks for the help!

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14 hours ago, Metall said:

I am not a tax advisor, but I do recollect you need to be resident in Germany for >180 days in a calendar year before you are a tax resident. That's way more than two months, more like six.

That´s only a rule of thumb applicable to employees and IIRC it´s >182 days. It depends on your circumstances. What matters is whether Germany is the centre of your life interest (in the eyes of the Finanzamt). If. e.g. your wife is living in Germany that will usually be the case even if you spent most of the year abroad. But as long as you´re visiting for 2 months only you don´t have to register as a resident and don´t have to worry about tax. At least as long as you aren´t working in Germany - not sure about the rules if you are.

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182 days is tax liablity

90 days  is residence permit liability

For registering address there is a deadline of 2 weeks to register it as Zweitwohnsitz

 

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If my partner wanted to work remotely for that two months or for one month while there, would we run into issues? My understanding is that you cannot work in Germany at all, even remotely for a company based in another country, unless you pay German taxes. 

If you want to be it legally correct, you need to file for taxes for these 2 months in Germany, and then the tax authority will check that you did not live long enough to be liable. 

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