Quick-Check Interview on German Expat Tax with Andreas-A. Porsiel, German Steuerberater/ German CPA in Düsseldorf and Atlanta.
Why should I work with a German Steuerberater/ CPA?
German Steuerberater are registered and licensed in Germany. The title German Steuerberater requires certain legal responsibilities which can be advantageous for clients (e.g. insurance reasons, quality control standards, etc.).
How can I verify that I am working with an accredited German Steuerberater/CPA?
German Steuerberater is a recognized professional designation in Germany similar to a Doctor of Medicine or a Lawyer. Any illegal usage of this professional designation is against German law. German Steuerberater are not allowed to work in any other profession and they must have an office in Germany (or in some special cases an office in Europe).They are members of the German Steuerberaterkammer. Any individual not meeting these criteria is most likely not allowed to legally practice as a German Steuerberater and is therefore not allowed to officially represent you and your tax issues in Germany.
Is it more expensive working with an accredited German Steuerberater/CPA?
The price will vary depending on each individual situation. German Steuerberater (CPAs) are legally bound to certain standardized pricing. A simple tax return is invoiced starting at ca. 33,80 Euro (per return) by law.
Why did RIAs just start to get invitations to file taxes by the Finanzamt Neubrandenburg?
The Finanzamt Neubrandenburg was designed in 2005 to focus on German retirees and pensioners living abroad. A change in German tax law is now requiring more pension payments to be subject to tax than before. The Finanzamt Neubrandenburg is notifying RIAs that are required to pay taxes under these new tax laws. For the impacted RIAs, we recommend filing a tax return to avoid possible over taxation.
I have a US CPA but he/she has no office/business partner in Germany, so do I have to change to a large international CPA firm now?
No, this is not necessary! We will work with your US CPA to discuss the best tax strategies and to provide German tax related information as needed. We are bilingual and we will represent you officially in Germany. This is the most cost efficient and flexible solution for your German tax issues.
Are there advantages for Expats in Germany regarding the US–German Double Taxation Treaty?
In most cases is the answer ´yes´. The basic idea of the US-German Double Taxation Treaty is to avoid double taxation. However, this treaty should just be one item of consideration, as there is room for additional personalization of your individual tax case. German Tax Authorities do not always consider the optimal tax solution for each individual. This remains the responsibility of the taxpayers themselves.