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Service for foreigners

Many Expatriates face the challenging task to perform their German income tax return without assistance from professionals or choose not to hand in their tax returns. A German income tax return is totally diffrent from tax returns foreigner are used to. They are hard to understand - even for native German speaker because the German tax system uses special terms and abbreviations. Addionally Germany is the world leading country in generation new laws and regulations. On the other hand Germany has a unique profession: The certified tax adivsor. Only certified tax advisors are allowed by law to assist people with their tax obligations in Germany. A certified tax advisor passed a highly skilled exam in front of the government. To provide englishspeaking foreigners first informations regarding the German taxation system I have stated many informations on the following pages. If you want to calculate the tax burdon by yourself, I have added two calculators: income tax calculator wage tax calculator Read the full article

Artikel #1473

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Artikel #1389

German English Paraphrase Krankenversicherung health insurance For a typical German employee this insurance is mandatory. The insurance premiums are calculated based on the gross salary (15,5%) will be split equally to the employee and the employer. The employee can freely choose from several mandatory health insurance companies (e.g. AOK, Barmer Ersatzkasse, IKK-Direkt and many others). The different mandatory health insurance companies vary only minimal in their performance. This premium cover not only the health insurance of the employee, but also all family members withour own income (so called "Familienversicherung"). If the monthly gross salary exceeds EUR 4,012.5 (2008) the employee may choose a private health insurance company (e.g. DKV) which usually offers a better protection or a lower premium than a mandatory health insurance company. Please note that all familiy members will cause additional premiums. Rentenversicherung pension insurance or pension scheme All employees are mandatory members of the goverment controlled pension scheme. The premium is also calculated based on the gross-salary of the employee with a fixed percentage (in 2008 19.9%). Employee and employer split the premiums to each other so the effective premium for the employee amounts to be 9.95% of the gross salary. The maximum gross-salary on which the premium is calculated raises annualy and amounts to be in 2008 EUR 5.300 (old federal states) and EUR 4.500 (new federal states). The pension payments will start when the employee turns 65-67 and will only be paid if the employee proves the payment of at least 60 premiums (60 month aka 5 years). For further information please also read my pages regarding Pension refund. As the goverment controlled pension system will only guarantee a minimum life standard during the retirement age, the goverment encurage...

German pension scheme

Expatriates are usually employed by a German company and therefore obliged to pay considerable amounts to the German pension scheme. Many countries do not have bilateral pension agreements (mostly NON-EU countries) with Germany, so these contributions can be claimed back under certain circumstances. Please read here for further details. Read the full article


Most foreigners (and many Germans too) are not familiar - even if they speak German - with the meaning of the German tax terms and abbreviations. Therefore I compiled a small dictionary with paraphrases which may help you. Should you need further explanations or have annotations to the translations or to the paraphrases please feel free to contact me. If you found this information usefull, please tell it a friend. Read the full article