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?

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 6:56

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).

  • Without an EU related identification, I doubt OP able to open an account.
    – mootmoot
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 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. Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 15:38
  • @cbeleites The last things a German bank want to deal with is becoming money laundering playground.
    – mootmoot
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 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. Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:26

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.

  • Income in Germany from Germany: such as interest from that bank account (should it ever happen again that banks pay interest). For now, no. Commented Feb 25, 2020 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
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 10:12

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