Archives for January 2012

ZM – The Zusammenfassende Meldung

One of the lesser known parts of the German tax system is simply called the “ZM”, which stands for “Zusammenfassende Meldung”.  For anyone running a business in Germany, it is another form to fill in on a regular basis.

It all has to do with the VAT (Value Added Tax) system within the European Union.  Put quite simply, if you buy something in a shop or pay for a service, then you pay VAT.  For consumers, that’s the end of the story.  The shop owner or service provider pays the VAT on to the tax office.

But if the customer is a business as well, they usually have a way to claim that tax back again from their local tax office (although there are some exceptions). [Read more…]

How marks are decided in German primary schools

The German school system has, on the face of it, a fairly simple marking arrangement.  The marks for a piece of work are given on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 being the highest and 6 the lowest.

The numbers 1 to 6 roughly correspond to A to F in the British system as well, although 5 is usually the lowest that will be given for anyone actually completing the work or a test, with 6 reserved for those who don’t do it at all.  There are also the + and – grades in-between.

But how do the marks get decided for each child in the first place?

One possible answer to that question, and probably the most plausible in many subjects, is be the teacher making the decision.  This does, of course, require a competent and fair teacher, but [Read more…]

Why you need a VB-Nummer to register a car

FahrzeugscheinI’ve talked before about how the process of buying and registering a car in Germany.

Since I recorded that podcast there has been a change in the way that the insurance works, as I found out when I changed my car last year.

One of the best things about the German registration system is that you must arrange insurance for the car before you go to the Zulassungsstelle to register it.  If you do not, then you will either not receive any number plates to put on the car, or at the very least they will not have valid stickers on them, making uninsured cars very easy to spot on German roads. [Read more…]

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