Peter Scheller
Berater für Wirtschaftsprüfer, Rechtsanwälte, Steuer- und Unternehmensberater

„Wenn es knifflig wird.“

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10 tax issues to be considered if doing business in Germany

von Peter Scheller (Kommentare: 0)

Germany is one of the biggest consumer markets in the world. Therefore it is of interest for foreign companies who want to sell products or services on the German market. Besides this German business entities are often a target of foreign business investors. In any case foreign companies and investors have to observe German tax regulations in order to avoid unnecessary risks.

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Registration of a new business in Germany

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Starting a business in Germany requires various registration procedures. The same applies for fundamental changes in the entity’s legal structure or the liquidation of the entity or the termination of business activities.

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German legal framework for businesses

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Germany has a few legal specifics which needs be taken into consideration by foreign investors and businesses who want to invest or start business activities in Germany. This article lines out only very basic principles which can be surprising for foreign investors and businesses.

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Why is DDP not suitable for imports to Germany?

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Germany is one of the biggest importing economies in the world. Producers and sellers from states such China, the USA and others often agree with their German customers the Incoterm DDP. This seems beneficial for German importers because they receive goods “on their doorstep”. All costs of transport, insurance and customs declarations have to be paid by the supplier. However, there are situations where this obvious benefit turns into a sour pill for German importers when they receive an unexpected tax bill from their local German tax office.

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Germany’s tax avoidance regulations

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Germany’s tax avoidance regulations

Germany’s tax avoidance regulations are far reaching and cover a lot of different situations. There are certain measures which are treated as a tax avoidance scheme although involved companies or individuals do not realise that their business activities may be …

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Double household in Germany

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Double household in Germany

Our article Deductible expenses for work-related second household requires a partcial amentment. From 2014 on the 60 square meter criterion is not applicable any more for a work-related double household in Germany. On the other hand deductible expenses are limited …

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The unwanted permanent establishment in Germany

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The unwanted permanent establishment in Germany

Expatiates living and working in Germany are aware of the fact that relocation to Germany has consequences in regard to their tax situation. Most expatriates who live and work in Germany are employees who work for a German or foreign …

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Freelancer and the „false“ self-employed phenomenon

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Freelancer and the „false“ self-employed phenomenon

Some service industries employ freelancers rather than employees in order to carry out certain jobs. To work as a freelancer can be beneficial both for the freelancer and his/her customer. However, if the freelancer’s position is similar to the one of …

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IAPA meeting 2017 in Warsaw

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IAPA meeting 2017 in Warsaw

This year’s general meeting of the IAPA International Association of Professional Advisers took place on the 29 and 30 September 2017 in Warsaw. Main topics of this year’s conference were the new EU-regulation on data protection, taxation of expatriates living …

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German tax residence

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German tax residence

Residence is one of the most common criteria for the taxation on income. Most states tax the worldwide income of a person who is a resident within their territory. Unfortunately every state is free to define the term residence differently. …

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Investment in German real estate

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Investment in German real estate

For foreign investors Germany’s real estate property is still attractive although property prices are still rising. Foreign investors have to consider legal and tax issues in Germany. This article covers 10 main tax issues. (1) German real estate and taxes …

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Taxation of Stock Option Plans in Germany

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Taxation of Stock Option Plans in Germany

As an US expat, it’s important to understand the differences of how stock options are taxed in different countries. Knowing the ins and out will help you properly file your taxes in both the US and your host country – … 

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German Taxation: Tax incentives to build new apartments

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German Taxation: Tax incentives to build new apartments

On 4 February 2016 Germany’s Federal Cabinet approved a draft bill on tax incentives for new apartments. The apartments must be rented out for residential purposes for at least 10 years. The residential buildings must be constructed between 1 Januar 2016 and 31 December …

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Keeping and storing accounting documents abroad

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Keeping and storing accounting documents abroad
In 2009 Germany introduced the legal framework which allows German business entities to install its electronic bookkeeping abroad. This allows German companies and German subsidiaries of foreign business entities to outsource IT infrastructure, accounting and payroll processes abroad. Foreign service …

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Will overturned by Royal Court of Justice

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Will overturned by Royal Court of Justice

It does not happen very often that a Court decision over inheritance law gets high profile publicity. However, the recent verdict of Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal regarding Heather Ilott’s share of inheritance attracted public attention on a large scale. You may …

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German Trade and Business Tax

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German Business Tax

Germany imposes certain taxes on profits of domestic and foreign corporations with a tax representation in Germany. There are federal taxes such as corporation income tax (tax rate: 15%) and solidarity surplus charge (tax rate: 5,5% on corporation income tax …

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The Ins and Out of US Taxation for German Citizens

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The Ins and Out of US Taxation for German Citizens

American tax rules are complex for US taxpayers, but they can also be confusing for others who spend time working in the US or have US investments. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common tax situations …

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Assignment and social security

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Assignment and social security

Employed individuals who work in Germany are subject to Germany’s social security systems. Self-employed persons are in general not liable to German social security contributions. There are certain exceptions from this general rule. The most important exception is the assignment of an employee. The …

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German social security for expatriates

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German social security for expatriates

In general expatriates moving to Germany are interested in their tax situation. For people with high income this is understandable. However, foreign employees and their employers should not ignore social security obligations in Germany. There are certain issues to be …

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USA: Interest rates on tax over- or underpayments

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USA: Interest rates on tax over- or underpayments

In the USA interests will be charged by the tax authorities for underpayments. Underpayments  can be the result of tax assessments or late payments. On the other hand interests will be refunded für overpayments (tax refunds). The Internernal Revenue Service (IRS) …

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Deductible expenses for work-related second household

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Deductible expenses for work-related second household

Expatriates who start working in Germany may keep the main household in their home country. This is especially the case if the family stays back home. This situation results in two households and leads to the question: Are the expenses …

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Child benefits in Germany

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Child benefits in Germany

In Germany there is a wide range of tax incentives for parents and other persons who provide a home for children. However, the complex network of regulations makes it hard for Germans and especially expatriates to keep a sufficient overview. The following … 

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Taxation of Stock Option Plans in Germany

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Taxation of Stock Option Plans in Germany

Expatriates especially from the USA and the Anglo-Saxon world who have been sent to Germany by their employers are often beneficiaries of stock option plans. Regularly these employees exercise options while staying in Germany. This raises the question of how benefits will be …

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Income tax assessment in Germany

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Income tax assessment in Germany

A lot of countries such as the USA and the UK adopted a self-assessment regime in order to collect income tax. This means that an individual has to declare tax relevant items such as taxable income and deductible expenses. Every taxpayer has …

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Property Service Fees

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Property Service Fees

Individuals can claim tax deductions for expenses connected to private homes. These rules promote family homes but also secondary residences or holiday homes. In Germany these fees are called Haushaltsnahe Dienstleistungen. Services must be linked to the household. These favourable regulations cover employments …

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Profit distribution and German Church Tax

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Profit distribution and German Church Tax

In Germany religious communities can request the tax authorities to collect a church tax from their members. In the past the Roman-Catholic Church and most of Protestant communities gave the authority of tax collection to the tax authorities. The church tax will …

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