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I'm planning to open a personal bank account in Germany very soon and I need this clarified before I do that.

Some info:

  • I don't have German Citizenship
  • I do not live in Germany and I don't plan on living there
  • I will not be receiving any money from German Companies (for now at least) and I will not be performing any services or have any sort of activity in Germany besides having a bank account there
  • I plan to use the bank account for international transfers only

Do I have to pay any taxes in Germany?

I tried googling for the answer, but I couldn' find a clean answer anywhere. Besides that, are there any other things I should know about before opening a bank account in a foreign country?

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No you won't.
Germany taxes income, not bank accounts. Note that this changes immediately when your bank account makes interest - you will owe taxes on this interest.

However, chances are you won't get a bank account. Without residency or income, typically the banks wouldn't give you an account. Feel free to try, though.

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    As long as you re an EU citizen you can open an online bank account with e-banks like Revolut and N26 in 10' from the comfort of your home. – Leon Jul 11 '19 at 6:56
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I can tell you by direct experience that you won't pay anything on German bank accounts in € currency that yields no interest. I live and work in Italy, and I have opened a German bank account (N26 Bank Gmbh). I have not paid 1 cent of taxes so far (2 years).

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  • Without an EU related identification, I doubt OP able to open an account. – mootmoot Jul 10 '19 at 12:34
  • @mootmoot: why shouldn't they? It's not unusual for a business to provide bank accounts in different countries. It may be quite a bit of hassle to provide the required identification, and not every little bank around the corner will serve international custormers, but I seriously doubt that it is impossible. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Jul 10 '19 at 15:38
  • @cbeleites The last things a German bank want to deal with is becoming money laundering playground. – mootmoot Jul 10 '19 at 16:01
  • @mootmoot: Meanwhile I've looked up regulations: banks are by law required to open at least a basic account (Basiskonto) for any consumer who is legally inside the EU (not: resides in Germany). AFAIK they can require you to fill in forms on paper and show up in person to "filter out" anyone who isn't really serious about the account. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Feb 29 at 15:26
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No, you will not, UNLESS you receive income IN GERMANY FROM GERMANY - i.e. you own a property that you rent out. If that is not the case, not living in germany is enough to make it tax free. As non-german resident you are only liable in germany for taxes that occur on income that you generate in germany.

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  • Income in Germany from Germany: such as interest from that bank account (should it ever happen again that banks pay interest). For now, no. – cbeleites unhappy with SX Feb 25 at 9:32
  • Or rental income, i.e. - if you spend some years in germany, buy a flat, then do not sell it but rent it out - that is income from germany in germany, and always taxed in germany, even if you are not german and not living in germany. – TomTom Feb 25 at 10:12

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