August 15, 2008 3:13:52 AM CEST
The 3 months bit does indeed seem to be the ultimate factor, but the local authorities can be a bit 'keen'.
I'm in the process of buying a house. We are due to accept the house on Monday. (Signed the contract in June, for an acceptance date of 30 September. ["But sooner", said the Bauherr.] We wanted the house as soon as it was ready, he wasn't prepared to commit himself to an early completion date, but he knew whan we wanted it and he ended up meeting our date.)
The property tax people sent me a bill in early July, which they insisted was due by the end of the month ... How come? - At the end of July I didn't own the property - yet they wanted the tax. [They got it late.]
The Anmeldungsamt managed to get hold of my handy number [dunno how ... few people know it - I certainly don't] and called me to find out when I was going to register. (They beat around the bush a bit. - They asked for my forename and that of my wife, so they could enter our forenames into their register ... and would I please come in and fill out the paperwork.)
I told them I would come in and see them, but Iwasn't sure whether I was going to register. I told them I would probably register, but I might not ...
That threw them!
I'm an 'exempt person' and the last time I tried to register, everything went well until they asked to see my 'documents' and I showed them. - The people at that Anmeldugsamt said: "Oh, you
can't register! Go away!"
If you register, you will get a tax number and you will be required to file a German tax return. That may be to your advantage (although I gather there's a lot of paperwork involved with German taxes.)
You say you're only going to be in Germany for a few weeks each year ... What are you going to do with your house when you're not in it? - If you rent it out, you will almost certainly incur a tax liability. (You need to talk to a German tax lawyer to determine your liability) but as there is a reciprocal tax agreement between inter alia
Germany and the UK, you are unlikely to end up paying both British and German taxes on your UK pension. It may pay you to register as resident in Germany, but then again, if you're ordinarily resident in Germany, how can you also be ordinarily resident in the UK? (And if you're not ordinarily resident in the UK, you're not entitled to use the NHS and there may be pension 'implications' [People who leave the UK permanently seem to have their pensins frozen at the rate they received when they left.) (You need to talk to DHSS or whoever handles pensions in the UK nowadays.)
The people I've been talking to recently seem to have difficulty in understanding how you can own a property in Germany, yet not use it as your primary residence. Perhaps if you explain to them that it's a 'Ferienwohnung' they will realise that you're not ordinarily resident in Germany.