FAQs on au pairing in Germany
We've collected some of the most frequently asked questions about the au pair programme in Germany and answered them here.
Our current au pair recently received a personal identification number from the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern). This number is used for tax purposes. None of our previous au pairs ever received such a number. Does this mean that au pairs have now become liable to pay income tax?
First, we need to point out that we cannot and may not provide you with any legally binding information.
However, we have researched this matter and found the following information. Here is what the press office of the Federal Central Tax Office wrote to us: "Every natural person having his/her domicile or habitual residence in Germany is subject to income tax without restriction. For this reason, every person is given a tax identification number as a classification criterion for financial administration. The fact alone that they are given a tax identification number does not automatically lead to any tax-related consequences either for the host family or for the au pair. Such consequences will only ensue when a specific tax liability is determined in the course of an individual review."
With regard to tax liability of au pairs, we received the following information: An au pair usually receives a low income. Therefore, an au pair does not have to file a tax return in Germany, according to our tax expert. In case of any doubt, individual cases should be reviewed in more detail. For further information, we suggest that you consult your tax advisor for more individual assistance.
My Russian au pair and I are not getting along well with each other. We have talked many times about the situation, but have not been able to reach a satisfactory compromise. Our expectations are simply too different. I want to terminate the au pair contract and want to know what needs to be considered.
Speaking frankly and openly about your mutual expectations is definitely the right thing to do when encountering problems with each other. Should you repeatedly fail to find to a solution and come to the conclusion that a termination is the best way forward, please abide by the notice period agreed upon in the au pair contract. This period is usually two weeks.
I live in a rural area and would like to host an au pair. Language course are held in the next village, 14 kilometres away from us. The next town is about 40 km away. Therefore, I wonder whether you could tell me, if a 14-kilometre-drive would be reasonable for an au pair? Do I even have a chance of finding an au pair in such a situation?
You are right: most au pairs prefer larger cities to the countryside. Thus, your choice of possible au pairs will be somewhat reduced. However, the most important thing for you is to find one au pair who fits well to your family.
Here are a few tips to help you with your search:
This applies to your situation and to the fact that your au pair would have to drive 14 kilometres to attend his/her language course. This is still in a reasonable range. After all, the most important thing is that your au pair feels happy with your family and that you both get along well with each other.
Unfortunately when I took the German language test at the Consulate the first time, I failed the oral exam. Can I take the test again?
We're sorry that we don't have a generally applicable answer to this question. At the Consulate in the USA, it is possible to take the test again. However, in general, there is no set rule for German embassies abroad regarding how many times someone can take the language test.
We therefore recommend that au pairs contact the German Embassy in their home country in advance and find out whether it is possible to take the exam more than once. These regulations are set individually by each German Diplomatic Representation and therefore vary from country to country.