What’s new in Germany in 2013?

2013 Dice - ©iStockphoto.com/alexsl The New Year in Germany usually brings with it some new regulation or law, or simply a rise in prices.  2013 sees a whole range of things changing, but many of them will only affect a small percentage of the population.

The following 4, however, are likely to affect most people.

1. The price of stamps

The cost of sending a normal letter (up to 20g and 23.5 x 12.5 x 0.5cm) within Germany went up from 55 cents to 58 cents.  The cost of sending the same letter abroad stayed at 75 cents, and the prices for postcards stayed the same as well.  Larger items up to 1kg and 35.3 x 25 x 5cm now cost €2.40 to send within Germany instead of €2.20. [Read more…]

New in 2012: the end of the Lohnsteuerkarte (maybe)

Lohnsteuerkarte 2010At the beginning of 2011 I wrote about how the Lohnsteuerkarte was going to be replaced by an electronic system, the ELStAM, and for the past 12 months anyone arriving in Germany has no longer received their Lohnsteuerkarte on arrival when they register at the Einwohnermeldeamt, but instead has had to apply for written confirmation of their tax status at the tax office (Finanzamt).

But during the course of the year the starting date for the new system has been pushed back a number of times, and now it may even not come into force until the beginning of 2013! [Read more…]

New in 2011: the end of the Lohnsteuerkarte

Lohnsteuerkarte 2010One of the first places for anyone arriving in Germany to live has to go to is the Einwohnermeldeamt.  Having registered an address and applied for the relevant permits to stay in the country, new residents used to receive their Lohnsteuerkarte – a card that shows the details that an employer needs to calculate income tax deductions, such as the tax class (Steuerklasse), religion and the number of children in the family.

The Lohnsteuerkarte was valid for one year, and the new card for the coming year used to be sent out around the end of September.

But all that has now changed – or at least it should have done if a new system had come in at the beginning of this year.  Instead, there are special rules that apply only in 2011! [Read more…]

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