Jaroslav Plotnikov

IT Freelance in Germany: How I paid tax without any knowledge of taxes

There is always another way – my own story

Me in 2008 – young entrepreneur

Read in Russian – ПО-РУССКИ


In this article I would like to tell my personal story. First I reveal a secret – only in 2017 I seriously started to learn and understand the tax system. Since I started working as an freelancer adviser in 2008 until 2016, I have hardly been able to make a difference between income tax and sales tax.

My first tax consultant was an “ordinary” expert recommended by a German entrepreneur friend. I went to the tax consultant personally and wanted to deliver some papers to him. This was quickly done and we got into a friendly conversation. I remember asking him a little question about the basics of my taxation.

I asked this question out of curiosity and politeness. I just wanted to “fill a silence”. The tax consultant explained everything to me in a simple, friendly manner. We both looked like good friends talking. His explanations seemed so easy to understand that I did not take notes. However, the whole material was too new and abstract for me. When I got home, most of the explanations were already forgotten.

A week later when I was abroad, I did not want to answer his request by email, but by telephone. After the formalities were cleared up, I told the tax consultant that I was in Turkey. As we both were interested in Sufism, we talked about Turkish Sufi masters for about an hour.

After the end of the month I got his bill and couldn’t believe my eyes – the tax consultant charged me for the two conversations, – for this “friendly talk”. Besides I had to pay him an additional sum for two hours of his work.

It was a real shock! I changed this bandit as soon as I could.

I found another tax consultant through another friend. The new tax consultant asked me how many invoices I issued per quartile. Then he proposed a all-inclusive price: I pay a fixed sum for each quartile and he makes the advance tax returns and also the annual report. I loved the idea of a fixed sum. I told him we’d try to work together for a year. In the end, I worked with this man all the next years.

The conclusions from this

A tax consultant may at first tell you that fixed amounts are difficult to achieve because the number of invoices can vary.



© 2018 Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )


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