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German Law/Kindergeld fraud


Hello Sir,

I am an American Soldier married to a German Citizen. We have been living in the U.S. since 2011, and she is still collecting German Kindergeld. We are going through a divorce, and I was wanting to know what steps I should take in reporting this, and what the consequences are? The kindergeld was for 3 kids, at first, but now for 2. I just now found out that it was illegal, cause she had told me that is was her right to collect kindergeld, even though she was no longer living in Germany. Thank you for the help.

Changes in the circumstances affecting the granting of Kindergeld have to be reported to the family assistance office ("Familienkasse" - a branch of the local "Agentur fuer Arbeit") without undue delay.

In the field of Kindergeld benefits the specific obligations to cooperate under 68 Income Tax Act apply. Thus, any breach results not only in the recovery/ reclaim of wrongly paid benefits but under certain conditions they can also attract fines under the Administrative Offenses Act or even cause a criminal prosecution.

The Familienkasse has to be notified of

   - the commencing of work abroad
   - the posting by a German employer to work abroad
   - a move abroad
   - the start of an activity in the public sector
   - the drawal of other child related benefits
   - the permanent separation or divorce of the parents entitled to the benefits
   - the death of a child
   - the leave of the household by one beneficiary or the child

German Law

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Henning Haarhaus


I can answer questions in English, German and French. Practice in inheritance law, tax, labour and contract law for private clients. Services also rendered in the fields of business & commercial law; e.g. business organizations, contracts, debt collections, leasing law. Representing clients all over Germany. NO CONSULTANCY ON FAMILY AND IMMIGRATION LAW.


Working since 1999 in the forenamed fields. Henning Haarhaus` experience includes services in the legal department of Roedl & partner, the biggest tax consultancy firm of German origin. Appointed Bar Certified Tax Law Practioner in 2007.

Bar Association of Berlin, KIWANIS


German licensed lawyer and bar certified tax specialist

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