German law provides for the payment of family allowance for children, the so-called Kindergeld. Not just German citizens can use it. Persons with the citizenship of another country, i.e. of Poland, can also apply for this benefit. In this publication, we will explain you what Kindergeld is.
1. What is Kindergeld?
Kindergeld constitutes a family allowance granted in Germany for children. The purpose of the benefit in question is to guarantee the necessary financial means to raise children.
The institution responsible for the processing of requests for the allowance and its payment is the Family Benefits Office – Familienkasse der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Familienkasse for short).
2. Who can apply for Kindergeld?
Persons who pay taxes in Germany can apply for the payment of Kindergelt. These include, among others:
- persons engaged in Germany under employment contracts;
- persons seconded to work in Germany by a Polish employer for whom the employer pays tax in Germany;
- persons conducting a German economic activity – gewerbe.
Provisions also require that the person applying for Kindergeld lives in the same household with the children for whom the allowance is to be granted.
3. For which children is Kindergeld due?
Kindergeld is paid for one’s own children (leibliche Kinder) and adopted children (adoptierte Kinder). It’s also due for children taken by the applicant into the household, i.e. those ones of the spouse, of the formal partner, stepchildren (die Pflegekinder), grandchildren. However, in this case, the joint registration of the child and the applicant constitutes the essential criterion for assessing entitlement to the benefit.
As a general rule, the allowance is due until the child reaches the age of 18. However, the payment of the benefit can be extended. In the event that the child continues education, has undertaked studies or pursues vocational training, the allowance will be paid until he/she reaches the age of 25. The benefit is also granted during the interruption between successive stages of education. The break can’t exceed 4 months. Moreover, the payment of the allowance can be extended until the child reaches the age of 21. It happens if the child is registered as an unemployed person or he/she has a disability.
4. Payment and amount of Kindergeld
Kindergeld shall be paid monthly. The benefit is granted for an indefinite period. Its entitlement expires as soon as the right to benefits ceases.
In that respect, it should be noted that it’s possible to apply for payment of Kindergeld for the period prior to the date of the submission of the appropriate request. The applicant may request for payment of the benefit for 6 months preceding the date of making the request.
From 2023, Kindergeld will be paid in equal amount for each child. The allowance will be EUR 250.00 per month.
The amount of income received by carers doesn’t affect the amount of the benefit.
The amount of Kindergeld is reduced if the applicant in Poland receives the 500+ benefit for the children covered by the request. In this case, Kindergeld shall be reduced by an amount equivalent to PLN 500.
5. How to obtain the benefit?
As already indicated, Kindergeld is paid on the basis of the request of the person concerned. The application shall be accompanied by a number of documents. The type of attachments depends on the applicant’s title to pay taxes in Germany. For example:
- person engaged in Germany under an employment contract – he/she encloses, among others, a copy of the payroll tax certificate (Lohnsteuerbescheinigung) or settlement (Abrechnung) for the applicant’s work in Germany;
- person seconded to work in Germany by a Polish employer – he/she attaches, among others, a copy of the A1 certificate, a copy of the international secondment addendum;
- person conducting a German economic activity – he/she presents, among others, a copy of the business registration certificate, a copy of the profit and loss settlement (Einnahmen-Überschuss-Rechnung, EÜR).
6. Legal notice
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