Expats in Germany advised as to changes now in place

Expats in Germany advised as to changes now in place

Expats in Germany advised as to changes now in place

If you’ve just arrived in Germany to take on a new job or are planning to relocate in the near future, these newly-announced changes might be good news.

Nowadays, not everything which is announced by world governments is coronavirus-related, with a few new rules actually seeming to be sensible and constructive. However, for expats already in Germany or relocating in the near future, several pandemic-related changes have been made in order to boost the country’s economy at this difficult time whilst seeming to be good news for citizens and expats alike.

Firstly, German VAT rates are now reduced from July 1, with the standard rate falling from 19 to 16 per cent and the rate applied to food and everyday goods falling from seven to five per cent. Obviously, the rate cuts will result in lower prices for consumers across a wide range of necessities as well as luxuries. Train travel will also be cheaper due to the cut in VAT rates with, for example, Deutsch Bahn passing on the reduction to its passengers. Long-distance train travel will become slightly cheaper, with the reduction seen in super-saver, saver and flex fares, but won’t affect journeys on regional transportation.

If you’ve been working in Germany long-term and are entitled to a German pension, you’re in luck as benefits are to increase by between 3.45 and 4.20 per cent dependent on your location. Unfortunately, the news for expats renting property isn’t so good, as the protection of tenants against eviction due to non-payment of rent is now ended. For expats improving their health and their city’s clean air by cycling to work, the dangers from the massive long-distance trucks are to be reduced by a new rule which forces transportation companies to install flashing side markers.

In addition, heavy goods vehicles are to be banned from German roads on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays during the summer season and extra-large trailer trucks will be banned from using autobahns on Saturdays.

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