I am a German citizen with a US green card, currently living and working in SF. For family reasons, I will have to move back to Germany for a little while. Does anyone have experience with how I would handle my taxes? Would I be in danger of losing my green card status in the US? Who would be a good source to contact?

  • How long is a little while? – phoog Feb 25 '19 at 4:37

As a US green card holder, you may not stay for more than 1 year without requesting a re-entry permit.


Regarding taxes, as a green card holder, you will also be subject to US taxes even if living in Germany. But, if continuing to work for a US company remotely, and paid in the US, this will not be a problem, and can actually be a benefit if you will remain at least 330 days.

If at least 330 days, you can claim deductions of foreign earned income exclusion (basically $100k tax free, plus housing and other deductions).


TL;DR - if you stay 330 days in Germany, there are strong tax advantages. If you stay more than 364 days, you could lose your green card.

  • What about the German side of things? My understanding is that the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is intended to prevent double taxation created by the peculiar US rules regarding non-resident citizens/US persons but in most places staying 330 days would expose you to the local income tax. – Relaxed Feb 26 '19 at 7:55
  • If working remotely while still being employed in US by US employer and paid in US, German side is not technically a factor. – Daniel Feb 26 '19 at 18:47
  • How so? By virtue of some German law on remote workers? A tax agreement between Germany and the US? Or do you simply mean that the German tax office can easily be defrauded in this situation? – Relaxed Feb 26 '19 at 20:22
  • Please refer to Article 4 of US-Germany Tax Treaty of 1990 regarding the concepts of residence vs. domicile, along with subsequent amendments in 2006 and 2007. irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/germany.pdf irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/germanprot06.pdf irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/germanyte07.pdf – Daniel Feb 27 '19 at 21:17
  • That should go into the answer, it would improve it greatly. – Relaxed Feb 27 '19 at 21:26

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