How to open a PI in Germany, if you are a programmer, and do not stuff cones
In recent weeks, Berlin is a popular topic on Habré. It's no accident - in Germany there are many opportunities for working in IT with a comfortable move. But the bureaucracy is also in Africa a bureaucracy, and if there are questions about individual business abroad - a headache can not be avoided.
Alina Anufrieva ( allinne ) Worked as a front-line vendor in Yandex, but her husband received an offer from Germany, and they moved with their child to Berlin. The work allowed her husband to get a Blue Card - a work visa valid throughout Europe - and a residence permit for the family. But if he had to work in the company that called him, Alina got more opportunities: to work anywhere and even open her own business.
But at first she was engaged in household affairs, for example arranged a child in the garden. "We need to fill 100500 forms, bring them to the Jugendamt (Youth Affairs Department). Russian citizenship will not cause any difficulties if there is a visa, "she said.
Alina was looking for a part-time job in Berlin to attend to a child, but she could not find a job even for 30 hours a week. Finally, she found a remote offer from Finland, but faced bureaucratic difficulties - the Finnish and German laws are arranged so that the work could be organized only through the IP.
It is more difficult to open than in Russia, there are many pitfalls. We phoned, and Alina described the whole process in detail, and I wrote down her story.
How to get into a profitable tax status
I came to an office from a company that works in Finland - Videoly.co. It was founded by Seryozha Andryukhin, with whom we worked together in Yandex. Due to the fact that they are in Finland, I am in Germany, and I have Russian citizenship - they could not hire me according to the rules of the European Union as a staff member. Therefore, they proposed to work as a legal entity, and I undertook the opening of the IP.
To entrepreneurs in Finanzamt (German tax) are treated as people who already know everything and know how to go, what documents to make out, how to communicate with the state. Therefore, work with the tax is often built through special consultancy firms that represent your interests.
They need to pay about 50 euros each month, plus about 400 euros (depending on the number of documents) separately for the annual report.
But these firms help not only with processes. They can achieve a beneficial legal status for you in order to pay a lower tax than freelancers or remote developers usually have.
In Germany, entrepreneurs are divided into two types by profession - Selbstständig and Freiberunich.
Freiberunich are the so-called free workers who have a certain profession, confirmed by a diploma - designers, writers, journalists, teachers, lawyers, dentists, therapists and many others. They are exempt from additional business tax.
Selbstständig are individual entrepreneurs who do not provide services with the help of their profession. It's more than those who organize their business. They pay a full 45% plus additional interest if the income exceeds 5?000 euros per year.
There are many discussions about where to assign programmers. In Germany, for some reason, it is considered that programmers are Selbstständig.
To get into Freiberunich, you'll have to hire a good tax agent - it can help you fall into another category. Therefore, the first thing I did was look for a consultant to legally formalize my status. In the form for tax you indicate your profession, and the consultant defends and defends your rights.
Unfortunately, I met a not very good firm, which did not tell about the critical moments. And I had to stuff lumps.
How to return a part of taxes
I can refund money for the needs of my business from already paid taxes. For example, on office equipment, office and so on. This can be done every year - the main thing is to keep all checks and extracts.
Many expenses associated with the move we managed to return in this way.
How not to miss the tax number
When you come to Germany, you are immediately given a personal identification number. But it does not coincide with the tax number. The entrepreneur must receive the tax number when registering the IP. It is issued about three weeks later and they say how often it is necessary to report before the tax.
I was not warned about this. I received my tax number a few months after starting work, and all this time I could not write invoices and receive salaries.
It turned out that my tax number came to the address of the consulting firm. When I filled out the form, I agreed that this firm would represent my interests in the tax.
After that, the company threw me - did not answer any calls or letters. I wrote a refusal, but they did not inform the tax authorities that I no longer deal with them. Accordingly, the letters went to the address of the company, and they did not forward them to me, although they were required by law.
I began to sound the alarm, call the tax. And instead of getting a number back in March, I was able to achieve it only in May.
A year later my husband and I received a common tax number, submitting an annual declaration of family income. Now I need the PI only for work, and we pay taxes together as a family - with the total income.
In Germany, everything is bad with the electronic infrastructure
Probably, many IT people will be surprised, but there is no single window where you can register as we do at government services.
If you chose, for example, three kindergartens, then you need to personally look for them on the map and bypass them. When I asked to record the child as soon as possible, because I need to work - they put me on the waiting list. Every month I had to call there myself and remind myself of myself.
Similarly, with the tax and pension fund. The meeting should be booked by phone or on the site, and then wait for a month. Unfortunately there it is. And it was a shock to me.
Banking infrastructure of Germany at the level of the 90's in Russia. Remittance within the country takes 3 working days. For a quarterly statement, payment is 15 euros from Postbank. For each appeal to the bank's consultant, too, a fee is charged. Recently there was an Internet bank N26 with a free MasterCard. I chose it, because they have a convenient good mobile application, you can withdraw money at any ATM up to 5 times a month for free.
How to choose a pension fund
I also did not say that I should go to the pension fund. I found out about this by accident in the community on Facebook. Then I had a bad time with German, and I had to look for an English-speaking consultant. He said that there are two options - to make deductions to either the state fund or the private one.
The state is divided into two more programs - mandatory (Pflichtversicherung) and free (Freiwilligversicherung).
Mandatory - this is 18.6% of the income that you will pay in any case, even if you stay out of work. The fact is that when you fill out the form you indicate your average expected income, and the amount is considered from him. At the end of the financial year, everything is recounted, and you can either return some of the money, or vice versa - require additional payment.
To be safe, it is better to indicate the income less than expected and within a year to save money for an additional payment. Otherwise - if there is no work - you still have to pay a full one every month.
With free insurance, you can choose yourself how much to pay each month (minimum 450 euros). With this option, you can freeze payments for several months, but you can not go on a premature retirement pension due to health and disability. Obligatory insurance gives such an opportunity in five years.
The important point is that if during the first five years you decide to return to Russia, then the pension deductions can be returned back. But only 50%.
The pension payments in Germany are quite average. Even if you've made huge contributions all your life, it will not be very different from the average. This is the role of private pension funds, and consultants are actively invited there. They offer to invest money at a percentage - as in a bank account.
Of all these options, I chose one more - slope.
The first three years an individual entrepreneur can quite legally not pay deductions to the pension fund. To do this, you must fill out another special form, and wait for approval. True, it can not be given.
One of the conditions is the availability of at least three customers. I have only one client, so there is about half a year or so to find more. The state is making concessions in this regard.
What else can insurance
Without an employer, you will have to make health insurance yourself - 14% + 0.9% additional contribution + ???% - nursing insurance (in case of incapacity)
Advocate insurance - covers expenses for courts due to non-payment or violation of intellectual property. It is expensive - if you are confident in the client, you can not spend it.
Damage insurance by a third party (Haftpflichtversicherung) - it is certainly not mandatory, but in Germany it is generally accepted, and basically everyone has it. If, for example, your child has broken another portfolio, you simply exchange your insurance numbers with his parents.
As a result,
The programmers in Germany have a disputed tax status. Therefore, it may be more profitable to work with the tax through consultants. But bad people are found everywhere.
It is necessary to keep all checks for working expenses - they can be compensated at the expense of the paid taxes.
The state pension program should be chosen according to income and job stability. In a private fund there will be more pension, but there are risks standard for all private banks.
If you are a novice entrepreneur, then the first three years you can not pay pension contributions, if the state allows.
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