I work in Germany. When am I considered a resident?

28th Dec 2019

Do you work in Germany and are not sure if you are a German tax resident?

When am I considered a tax resident of Germany?

The German tax system can consider an expat as a taxpayer if he has worked there for at least 6 months in one tax year which begins on 1st January and ends on 31st December.

What does it mean to be a German tax resident?

You are able to benefit from the various deductions the German tax system offers you if you are considered a German tax resident. In simple terms you are viewed as a German with a citizenship from your home country. As an example, you will be able to use child benefits: the so called Kindergeld.

Another important condition of your German tax residency status is your global income being taxed in Germany despite you being a citizen in your home country. When this happens you will be considered a non-resident in your home country for tax purposes.

When am I considered a German tax non-resident?

If you worked in Germany for less than 6 months out of a tax year, you are considered a non-resident. That means that you cannot apply for various benefits. Your german income will be taxed in Germany and your global income will be taxed in your home country.

Can a non-resident gain the same tax benefits as a resident?

It can happen. For example if you are considered a non-resident, because you worked less than 6 months in a tax year and you don’t gain child benefits in your home country, you can still apply for them in Germany despite being a non-resident.

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