All you need to do before leaving for work in Germany

Last update: 9th Apr 2024
Published: 1st Oct 2022

Before you go to work in Germany, you will in certain circumstances have reporting/notification obligations to the authorities in your home country. We will look at these in more detail in the following article.

Obligations towards the social insurance office

If you were employed before you went abroad, you do not have a reporting obligation to the social insurance office, as your employer deregistered you from the social insurance after your employment ended. You are also not obliged to notify the social insurance company that you are going to work in Germany.

Only a person who is voluntarily insured can opt out of social insurance. However, this is not compulsory, as the voluntary insurance is automatically terminated when you start a new social insurance in Germany. But beware! Only voluntary sickness insurance and voluntary unemployment insurance are automatically terminated. Voluntary pension insurance does not automatically cease when the new social insurance is established, so you must continue to pay it or opt out.

Obligations towards the health insurance company

Again, if you were employed, your employer opted you out of the health insurance after your employment ended and therefore you have no obligation to opt out.

However, it is important to inform the health insurance company about your work abroad so that you do not incur a debt for insurance premiums and so that you do not end up on the debtors' register. You could also be fined by your health insurer for breaching your obligations or failing to report your work in Germany.

You must notify your residence and the associated employment in Germany to the health insurance company within 8 days of leaving the country using the EU form E104, marking Termination of public health insurance. The new document or a copy of the new card must be attached to the form.

Obligations towards the employment office

If you were employed before you left for Germany, you have no obligation towards the employment office. You are obliged to report and deregister provided:

  • you are in receipt of one of the state social benefits (e.g. child benefit)
  • you are registered as unemployed with the unemployment office and are receiving unemployment benefit.

In these circumstances, you must notify the unemployment office that you are going to work in Germany and at the same time you must deregister from the unemployment register.

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Obligations to the tax office

You are under no obligation to report to the tax office before you go to work in Germany. However, you are obliged to tax your worldwide income in your home country if you are a tax resident. You will therefore also declare your income from Germany on your tax return. However, in order not to be taxed twice, either the income exclusion method (income from Germany is excluded from the tax return) or the tax credit method (the relevant tax is credited) will be used in the tax return. These are methods for avoiding double taxation.

Need help with filing your tax return?

German tax return with a specialist