Taxes: Living in Germany but working remotely

I've seen other good posts on roughly similar topics, but if possible, I'm hoping someone might have more specifics. Thanks in advance.

I know tax in Germany is complex, and even more so if you're self-employed, but I wonder if anyone could give me even a ballpark idea of how much I would be likely to earn netto.

I lived for a year and a half in Germany years ago, and loved the life. I'm thinking of moving back there. I can work online for my company in Ireland.

I don't want to avoid any taxes - having had the benefit of excellent public services in several countries before, I appreciate this. I just would like to have a rough idea of how much I would take home before I move lock, stock and barrel.

I currently gross €50k. I'm married and have a one-year-old girl. I have no property or other income. I'm an EU national.

I realise there are different ways of working i.e. self-employed vs freelance. I'm wondering which I should be (if either, since all my income would be from a single source), and the implications for health insurance costs (my memories of those were expensive-but-worth-it).

So what I'm looking for really is a very rough estimate of what I would make after tax - or even someone's thoughts on what kind of a lifestyle we could expect. We're generally not big spenders, and looking at rents, I've seen places we'd be perfectly happy to live in for about €800 to €850 kaltmiete.

You have to consider various things:

- First of all you are entitled to a special child allowance (Kindergeld) of € 184 per month. You have to apply for it at the Kindergeldkasse. You should apply for it as soon as you come to Germany because you lose your claim for periods older than 6 months (before application). Lots of expats moving to Germany miss this because they simply don't know and nobody tells them.
- It's hard to calculate your tax burden because of too many missing facts. But I would imagine that on a gross income of € 50k your income tax rate will be about 18 - 20%.
- The real problem is social security. This will be about 21% of your gross income. And your employer is obliged to pay another 21%. I am pretty sure that you Irish employer is prepared to take that burden without reducing income.
- If you are self-employed you can avoid social security burdens. But you have to make sure that you are not treated a so called fictitious employee (Scheinselbständiger). Because in this case you and your employer will be treated as you were a regular employee. You should seek professional advice on this issue to minimise risks.
- But even if you are self-employer you are obliged to have a regular health and care insurance. Very often it is advisable to get insured with the German Social Security Organisations (Pflicht-Krankenkassen) on a voluntary basis since you and your whole family will be insured. For young families with children the rates are better then the premiums of a private health insurance for the whole family.
- Please note that German tax law allows the deduction of a lot of job related or private costs. But in general you need a good tax adviser to optimise your tax situation in Germany.
- I suppose with a gross income or € 50k you can live in Germany no problem. Most families have less.

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