One of the most things, an expat in Berlin finds challenging, is navigating through the German tax system. Although a Steuerberater (tax advisor) may be costly to hire, you'll avoid dealing with time-consuming issues during your first few years in the country and helps you avoid making mistakes, which usually result to a hefty fine. Tax advisors in Berlin, know how to handle a variety of legal matters and they're connected to many aspects of our lives as entrepreneurs, active tax-payers, or just as individuals living in Germany. Their advice can have a huge impact on your problem, so it is wise to spend a significant amount of time choosing the right one for your needs.
How Tax Advisors in Berlin Can Help You
A tax advisor, is a finance professional and expert, who has extensive training and know-how about tax law and tax accounting. Usually, a tax advisor is hired to reduce tax payable while abiding by the law in difficult financial circumstances and situations. Tax advisors include tax attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), some financial advisors and enrolled agents. A tax advisor may also be called a tax consultant.
The services and advice of a tax advisor depend on the taxpayer's circumstances and situation. For example, a person who's planning to retire will receive different advice than an entrepreneur who is setting up a business. Also, a commodity trader will receive different advice than a real estate investor. Tax advisors in Berlin have extensive knowledge about guidelines and tax laws in Berlin, thus the reason why, many organizations hire them to represent the business before courts and tax authorities are required to resolve matters relating to tax. Tax advisors know and understand the legislation regulating business and individual taxes and they help to guide taxpayers on how to deal with the state, federal, and local tax rules and regulations.
Tax advisors in Berlin must stay updated with the latest state and federal tax conditions and requirements to be effective when they offer advice on current tax-related matters and topics.
Tax Advisor (Steuerberater) vs Bookkeeper (Buchhalter) - What's the Difference?
By now, you now know what a Steuerberater is, but, you must also know the difference between a bookkeeper and a tax advisor. This helps you to clearly identify the right service provider for your needs.
The Buchhalter (bookkeeper) isn't a protected title or position in Germany. You can call yourself a bookkeeper without any form of special certification. It's why, bookkeepers have restricted powers. And they usually are cheaper to hire than tax advisors.
Bookkeepers cannot submit financial statements or tax declarations on your behalf or on your account. But bookkeepers can help you fill in forms and paperwork. You must, however, submit them to the German Government personally. Also, if the bookkeeper makes a mistake in the tax declaration and you are fined by the Finanzamt (tax office), you are liable to settle the fine and not the bookkeeper.
What to Look Out for When Picking Your Tax Advisor in Berlin
What should you look for when choosing an English-speaking tax advisor (Steuerberater) in Berlin? Although it's subjective, you should pick a tax advisor depending on his or her focus and client portfolio. Most tax advisors have specific areas where they excel, which brings a specific kind of clientele.
Experience in the field
Based on your requirements, you should find a tax advisor with a previous experience required field. Such a tax advisor will have the right answers to your questions and he or she will understand your situation. It's a key matter for foreigners. You want a tax advisor who can handle and understands foreign income or the change of country of residence.In some cases, you might even see testimonials from previous clients or cases.
Get a good feeling
The best way to find the few among so many is using objective criteria. But, when you're looking for the one, it's more like choosing your doctor. You must feel comfortable discussing intimate details and you should feel relaxed when you're in the room next to them.
It Comes Down to Communication
An excellent tax advisor must have great communication skills and must be quickly reachable so that, they can provide advice and support to you. During difficult conditions and situations, this becomes very valuable to you. Like when you're purchasing a house or establishing a company. You need a tax advisor who will answer your calls and offer the best answers to your questions.
Services Provided by Tax Advisors in Berlin
You must pick your tax advisor depending on your needs. A tax advisor in Berlin, will offer flexible support in preparing ongoing accounts, drawing up financial statements, and will offer you advice connected to all tax aspects. Tax advisors in Berlin offer the following services:
Payroll Related Services
Payroll related services comprise the precise calculation of payment amounts and the timely submission of monthly documentation to the social security and tax authority in Germany(BZst).
Tax Advisors in Berlin offer a goal-oriented study showing if your investment is positioned optimally for the future. Business and fiscal matters are very connected. A fiscal concept isn't possible without business consultation such as:
- The calculation of liquidity, profitability, and costs
- The definition of dividend policy, financing, and investment
- The selection of the business' location, legal form, and start-up consultation
- Bank support and discussion preparation
- Planning of succession
- Preparing the calculation of costs
Statutory pension schemes have been severely cut over the last few years because of reforms to the social provisions. Additionally, occupational pensions are an important way to overcome future obstacles in retirement provision.
The yearly financial statement is the basis for the calculation of tax liabilities but also important for shareholders and funders including banks in Germany. An annual financial statement is a crucial tool for business decisions and management accounting. It provides an insightful foundation for consultancy covering tax solutions and business management.The services include:
- Annual financial reports aligned to the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)
- Creating the yearly statements for clients in every legal form
- Creating cost estimates and cost accounting
Support with the Tax Returns
Tax advisors help you identify the most favorable legal approach. It applies to business tax returns and income tax returns for customers who aren't deemed to be active entrepreneurs.The services consist of:
- Consultation related to international and national concepts
- Exploitation of the entire range of tax savings possibilities
- Submitting formulation proposals for drawing up the annex or the yearly report for organizations
Where can You Find English-speaking Tax Advisors (Steuerberater) in Berlin?
First, you should ask your colleagues and friends. This way you'll naturally find a professional who has the expertise and experience you need. Usually, you get an in-depth review of the advisor from the person recommending them. Apart from that, we tend to be around people who have similar or the same situations as ours. It's a good starting point.
Online platforms such as Ageras connect people who're looking for English-speaking tax advisors in Berlin, with the best fit for their needs based on their profile. Only with a few clicks, you can explain your situation in English, regardless of how simple or how complicated it is, and receive several offers from a variety of expert professionals, for free. It's a great way to compare the competition, offers, and choose the best one.
Tax advisors in Berlin are members of professional associations that list the registered licenses professionals. This is the search form on the Deutscher Steuerberater Verband and you can also search on DATEV. Search filters help you find an English-speaking Tax Advisor in Berlin or even a Tax Advisor who speaks a foreign language.
List of Recommended Tax Advisors in Berlin
To aid you with the search, we've put together a list of reliable and professional tax advisors in Berlin;
Tax Law Bastian Rohlffs
Handles tax law and corporate tax. All tax-related matters and filing tax-related documentation for expats, private individuals, and companies (entities and other legal forms) as well as start-ups. Performs yearly tax filing, tax planning and preparations, and current accountancy. Offers a complete range of services for start-ups.
Barnbrook Steuerberatungsgesellschaft GmbH
Handles tax declarations, bookkeeping, end of year accounts, and business accounting. The services are offered in English. Address: Schoenhauser Allee 163, 10435 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg.
Harrison Brook Online is a major player in the international financial advisory of expatriate financial service consultancy. The company works exclusively on a fee-based transparent model of advice and not on a commission basis.
FAQ: Tax Advisors in Germany
How much do tax advisors charge in Germany?
The fees for tax advisors in Germany can vary depending on the complexity of your tax situation and the services you require. Typically, tax advisors charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate. On average, you can expect to pay between €80 to €250 per hour for their services. It's essential to discuss the fees with your tax advisor beforehand and get a clear understanding of the cost structure.
How can I pay less taxes in Germany?
There are legal ways to optimize your tax liability in Germany. To pay less taxes, consider utilizing available deductions and tax credits, such as those related to education, housing, or charitable donations. Additionally, contributing to tax-advantaged retirement accounts can reduce your taxable income. Consulting a tax advisor can help you identify applicable tax-saving opportunities based on your individual circumstances.
How much tax do foreigners pay in Germany?
The amount of tax foreigners pay in Germany depends on their residency status, income level, and the type of income they earn. In general, residents are subject to German income tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are typically taxed only on income derived from German sources. The tax rates in Germany are progressive, meaning higher incomes are taxed at higher rates. Expats may also be eligible for certain tax benefits and exemptions.
Who are the German tax advisors?
German tax advisors, also known as Steuerberater, are financial professionals with extensive knowledge of German tax law and accounting regulations. They undergo rigorous training and certification to offer tax advice and assistance to individuals and businesses. Tax advisors in Germany include tax attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), financial advisors, and enrolled agents. When choosing a tax advisor, it's essential to look for someone experienced in your specific tax needs and proficient in English or your preferred language.
Navigating the German tax system as an expat can be overwhelming, but with the right tax advisor in Berlin, you can make informed financial decisions and ensure compliance with tax laws. Choose wisely and secure your financial future in Germany.