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Expatriates Frankfurt


This article was written by > BranchenKompass Frankfurt

Expatriates or expats is a term used in business for highly qualified specialists who work away from their home country for a limited period. It includes both employees of companies operating around the world and self-employed consultants, engineers, doctors, etc. who work in different countries.

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Besides questions regarding daily life, expats in Germany are also faced with many questions of a fiscal nature. Germany has one of the most complicated tax systems in the world.

Observance of the double taxation agreement between Germany and many other states can prevent an expatriate from having to pay tax both in Germany and in his home country. Countries having a double taxation agreement with Germany are marked in dark blue on the map to the left. Double taxation on income can usually be avoided. Specialists earning good money such as IT consultants, engineers or scientists whose work takes them around the world, are the very ones who often have neither the time nor the expertise to deal with complex tax issues. Nevertheless, they ought to ask themselves the following questions, for example, even if they appear banal:

  • Do I live in a hotel or a flat?
  • Is my main place of residence in Germany or my home country?
  • For what period of time is the work designed to last?
Each one of these points can have major fiscal implications depending on your personal situation. In the most unfavourable case, hasty action combined with a lack of knowledge of the rules or the creative opportunities available can result in an expat having to pay tax and insurance on his work in Germany both in Germany and in his home country. In some cases the relevant financial authorities can demand back taxes years after the event. It is advisable, therefore, to obtain advice as you proceed.
Before entering Germany
  • Do you need a visa? What type of visa?
  • Do you need a work permit?
  • Is your international driving licence valid in Germany?
  • Is your family to come with you to Germany?
  • Is your stay to be temporary or permanent?
Things to remember on your arrival
  • Do you have to register with the Residents Registration Office?
  • Health insurance: state scheme or private?
  • Do you want to rent accommodation, live in a hotel or buy a property?
  • What type of pension scheme?
  • Are you going to be an employee or work freelance?
  • Does your work have to be reported to the financial authorities?

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