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German Law/Freelance translating - postal address


Dear Mr. Haarhaus,

I was registered as a freelance translator in the city where I was living in Germany and received my Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer (tax number) from this city. I am currently travelling for a time; before leaving, I did the "Abmeldung" (deregistration) formalities for both my status as a freelance translator in this city as well as my postal address. I still use this postal address on various documents since my former landlord at the address has agreed to let me continue using it. I have German citizenship.

Since I am now travelling, and planning to continue doing so for several months at least, I wish to know how to handle the official matters relating to invoicing/tax number, etc. Can I use my former postal address for this purpose, even though I am no longer officially registered at this address? Can I continue using the former tax number? Will I need to file my taxes in Germany even though I will have no official residence in Germany?

Is it possible to register a postal address in a country I will be travelling to soon (i.e. Singapore), open a bank account there, and eventually file my taxes in this country?

With many thanks in advance for your help!

All best greetings.

A mail box in Germany alone does not constitute a residence here.
In general, the question of a German citizenship is irrelevant for German income taxation. However, for German naturals who had been subject to German unlimited taxation for at least five year prior to their move abroad, there exists a specific regulation in § 2 of the Foreign Taaxation Act (Außensteuergesetz) if they move to a so called low tax jurisdiction (I would consider Singapur as such) and if they maintain substantial business interests in Germany. The latter would apply, for instance, if the income derived from German sources would exceed 30 per cent of their total income or the amount of 62.000 €.  

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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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