I am a citizen of Turkey, and I am studying in Germany while receiving a scholarship from the German government.

Where is my fiscal residence?, i.e where is my tax-residency?


I have no other income other than the scholarship, which is not taxed by Germany.


1 Answer 1


You are a tax resident of Germany (the legal term being "unbeschränkt steuerpflichtig") if you have a residence in Germany or spend most of your time in Germany (§1 EStG).

In order to prevent people from being taxed by both Turkey and Germany, there is a treaty between Germany and Turkey with the short and sweet name "Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Turkey for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and of Tax Evasion with respect to taxes on Income" which says:

he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State in which he has a permanent home available to him; if he has a permanent home available to him in both States, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the State with which his personal and economic relations are closer (centre of vital interests);

So if you live in Germany, you are a German tax resident. If you have both a home in Germany and in Turkey, so it's unclear where you live, you are a tax resident in the country where most of your personal and economic life takes place. And because your main and only occupation is being a student in Germany, that would be Germany.

As long as you are not paying income taxes, there is no point in filing your taxes. If you do pay income taxes, then you might not actually be required to file taxes, but it is usually stupid to not do it, because a regular salaryperson has practically always things they can deduct in order to receive some money back.

  • Thanks a lot for your answer, Philip. You perfectly answered my question, but could you give an example about the thing you mentioned in your last paragraph?
    – Our
    May 25, 2020 at 12:17
  • 1
    @onurcanbektas How to do your taxes in Germany isn't really part of your original question. So if you have any questions about that, I would recommend you to ask a new question.
    – Philipp
    May 25, 2020 at 12:25
  • See my new question: money.stackexchange.com/questions/125825/…
    – Our
    May 25, 2020 at 12:47

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