So, my government owes me a sum of about 350 USD that should have been paid exactly one year ago. I call them every week, and they always tell me that they need more time.

Apparently they will pay me in a couple of weeks (if not I will contact a lawyer!), and I wonder how much interest I should claim.

The money is for being a witness at a court, for which I had to drive 500km (one way).


  • 5
    Which government it is? Usually governments have rules on what interest they pay on delayed payments and you cannot "demand" anything. You can sue for damages/penalties, depending on your local laws.
    – littleadv
    Feb 2, 2012 at 23:48
  • 3
    Yeah, good luck with that. Most Governments, in fact, need to give you PERMISSION before you can sue them.
    – JohnFx
    Feb 3, 2012 at 0:11
  • 2
    @JohnFx - Reference? I never heard of that.
    – ripper234
    Feb 3, 2012 at 6:56
  • 1
    More Info on "Sovereign Immunity" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_immunity). BTW: I don't know about Germany. I was commenting with respect to the US mostly because the question didn't have a country tag at the time.
    – JohnFx
    Feb 3, 2012 at 15:12
  • Doesn't apply to Germany.
    – Force
    Feb 3, 2012 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Be prepared to drive another 500 km to prove your claim. If you file your claims, normally you should claim interest at the bank rate on savings bank accounts. However, in most such situations, the rate is specified in the law. If not, your claim will not be entertained in a normal way. You may to file a suit for recovery of interest. Keep us posted on your progress.

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