Health Insurance Reform 2015: The four most important facts

Monday, 07.07.14 , written by editor The final implementation of the health insurance reform in 2015 is not much in the way. Next Friday, the Federal Council will also wave the reform project through. In principle, this could mean for the insured in the long term that they have to spend more money on their insurance cover. But that’s not all that changes. > 

The 2015 health insurance reform is intended to strengthen competition among health insurances and relieve some 20 million insured persons next year for the time being . This is the optimistic assessment of Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU). But that’s not all: the opposition, for example , sharply criticized the reform plan and voted against the GKV’s Financial Structure and Quality Development Act. However, this can not be prevented by the implementation of the health insurance reform, as it was approved by the Federal Government on 5 June. Even the outstanding debate in the Bundesrat will not be expected to bring any big surprises. Unexpectedly, however, some insured could reach post announcing the new additional contributions.

Update 11 July 2014: As expected, the Federal Council approved the new regulation.

What brings the health insurance reform in 2015 – 1. Special contribution is omitted

At first glance, the plans of the Grand Coalition in the context of health insurance reform in 2015 look insured: The health insurance contributions are reduced from the current 15.5 to 14.6 percent. Because the special contribution of 0.9 percent, which is carried by the employees alone, is eliminated. Employees and employers each receive half of the remaining 14.6 percent. If health insurances did not have the possibility to levy an income-dependent additional contribution from 2015 onwards, this would mean a real relief for the insured.

2. New additional contribution with the health insurance reform 2015

As of 1 January 2015, insured persons face an additional contribution, which is calculated as a percentage of income. According to the latest estimates of the chairman of the Association of statutory health insurance funds, Doris Pfeiffer, it is very unlikely that the health insurance can waive this – especially in view of the shrinking reserves of health insurance companies. Instead of the special contribution, around 50 million insured persons will have to pay an additional income-related contribution in 2015 as a result of the health insurance reform.

Initial benefits from the additional contribution 2015

Nevertheless, the additional contribution can initially represent a – albeit minor – relief for the insured. The insured persons could initially pay a lower health insurance contribution than previously, since probably not all health insurance companies will demand the additional contribution of 0.9 percentage points or more. However, the Federal Insurance Office estimates the additional contribution to 2017 at 1.6 to 1.7 percent. How much the additional contribution will be at the respective fund depends very much on their financial cushion and efficient management.

3. Will the benefits of the health insurance reform 2015 fall by the wayside?

Basically, the health insurance reform in 2015 should contribute to a higher quality of care. This is accompanied by economic action. Thus, the health economist Professor Eberhard Wille explains in an interview with the Stuttgarter Nachrichten on the one hand, that there is still rationalization potential in the service areas of the German health care system.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Health wants to persuade the health insurances to offer good services while using their own reserves. However, a competition of health insurance companies in terms of cost-effectiveness could be at the expense of comprehensive and good health care. Because the individual health insurance companies will first try to keep the contribution increase as low as possible in order to avoid a loss of members. As a result, austerity measures of the health insurance companies could eventually be reflected in benefit cuts for the legally insured.

4. Quality, midwives and UPD are encouraged

The health insurance reform 2015 also aims to ensure the quality of health care. For this reason a quality institute should check services and quality in the health service. This is intended to specifically improve treatments and identify deficiencies. Contributing to this is, for example, the Independent Patient Counseling of Germany (UPD), which has currently carried out the evaluation of patient inquiries and drawn conclusions about health care and existing problems. This institution will also be funded with another nine million euros in the future.

Last but not least, the health insurance companies have been supporting midwives since June 2014, who can no longer afford the greatly increased contributions to the professional liability insurance. Otherwise, many people are at risk of becoming unemployed.

ditions | © 2004 – 2018

Life insurance reform “no consumer, but lobby protection!”

Friday, 04.07.14, written by Anja Schlicht

The Bundestag today decides on the life insurance reform law. It was worked on until the very end. But whether the law is really necessary because of the low-interest phase, Susanna Karawanskij doubts. The politician of DIE LINKE recognizes little consumer protection in the reform. Instead, some regulations serve lobbying.


There are many reasons for, much against the life insurance reform

In a conversation with Karawanskij explains that the life insurance reform law contains some good points, such as the higher participation of the insured in the so-called risk surpluses. Nevertheless, the law has a “taste”. Instead of improvements, the insured may even face deterioration.

Many advocates, such as Federal Finance Minister Schäuble, affirmed that the life insurance reform law is necessary. Finally, it is important to ensure that insurers can continue to fulfill their guaranteed commitments in the future because of the ongoing period of low interest rates. Which opinion do you represent?

Susanna Karawanskij: On the part of the Federal Government, the urgent need for action is explained by the greater risk-bearing capacity of life insurers, and this is based on an analysis from the Bundesbank’s Financial Stability Report 2013. In its first report to the German Bundestag in June 2014, the Financial Stability Committee also reached the same conclusion: Assuming a long-term low interest rate for the next ten years, more than one third of life insurance companies, with a market share of around 43 percent, are present Problems that meet own funds requirements. However, there is always the view that the possible burdens of the current low interest rate environment with regard to financial stability still seem acceptable. It simply lacks meaningful numbers to analyze exactly the consequences. This already showed the answer to my small request (BT-Drs. 18/1678). Consumer-friendly scenarios are also missing, as policyholders are again more involved when interest rates turn around.

A small example of how thin the database is: So far, no one could tell me how many of the high-interest, long-term securities actually had to be sold to service outgoing customers. You have to know that, if, for example, you allow cuts to the valuation reserves!

The fact is: there is a low interest rate environment. However, not only insurance companies are affected by this, but every citizen who would like to invest hard-earned savings in order to at least achieve an inflation compensation.

Of course I want the insurance companies to be able to fulfill the guarantee commitments. And Solvency II also increases the requirements for the industry, which, in my view, are necessary. But at the same time there must be transparency in the companies as to what surpluses and hidden reserves are determined, distributed and paid out in what amount – or how much remains in the company. The complete surplus and reserve system is put to the test. After that you can make sense only for just regulations for both sides.

However, the whole legal process has a taste: The insurance lobby drives the federal government to action by exaggerated whining, which in turn reacts in anticipatory obedience, without having good figures. For example, the CDU / CSU and SPD once again succumbed to the siren sounds of the industry by tipping the disclosure of commissions back.

It must be brought light in the insurance thicket! The Federal Government has missed this opportunity terrific.

It is often argued that the current handling of valuation reserves penalizes insured persons whose life insurance does not expire in a few years. As a result, departing insured persons are currently being given preferential treatment. What suggestions do you have for the entire insurance collective to be treated equally in the future?

Susanna Karawanskij: The trick is easy to see through: policyholders are to be played off against each other. Finally, a reduction in the participation in valuation reserves of fixed income securities means a reduction for each client.

For departing insured it is readable black and white, there it is obvious. But even the existing customer is expressed in simplified terms less credited. And if the withheld money first, for example, in the free RfB (provision for contribution refunds, Note editors) hiked, it can quickly become equity and then simply no longer the insured. Valuation reserves are generally taken from the final surplus share fund as a “base participation” and renamed. This means that valuation reserves are not additionally paid off, but existing surpluses are simply cut back on them. That is dishonest!

Insured persons must not only be treated equally, but equally well and better treated. The profits and earnings generated with their money largely belong to the insured. That is why I also call for an increase of all minimum contribution rates (capital result, risk result, cost result) to a uniform 90 percent. In this regard, I tabled an amendment which the Greens also agreed. We need to bring light into the dark and detoxify the entire surplus system, making it transparent and subsequently fairer. Companies should be able to work solidly and continue to work. It is unacceptable for companies to use the money that customers are entitled to and to be healthy.

In a motion for a resolution (BT-Drs. 18/2027), I summarized our demands in the Bundestag, which will be voted in plenary on Friday as well as the two amendments by the LINKEN (BT-Drs. 18/2025 and 18/2026) ,

What are the disadvantages of the life insurance reform law for insured persons?

Susanna Karawanskij: In capital-linked life and pension insurance, they continue to invest in a black box. You do not know how much the commission is with an intermediary. They do not know what happens to their money during the term. They do not know what they will get in the end. It is a very “religious” investment: one has to believe and hope that in the end something good will come out.

Compared to the status quo even worse.

Because the construct backup needs is not thought through. The decisive euro interest rate * is susceptible to manipulation. This was already evident in LIBOR and Co. The investigation is also intransparent. The representative of the Bundesbank gave a miserable answer to a question in this regard: The determination of the euro interest rate rate was made by surveying certain banks. Further criteria were unknown. Ultimately, the hurdle will be too low and a need for backup will be rapid. And already the customers valuation reserves are deleted. The “compensation” is also just window dressing, because a maximum distribution of payouts is about 10 times lower than the total surplus (about 3.6 billion to about 40 billion euros according to eco-test), which customers are withheld. In addition to the “classic” surplus pots, the additional interest reserve is problematic, not to mention the new collective RfB, which according to consumer protection data will cost the insured about 30 billion euros. The money parked there will never flow back to the customers.

Customers are threatening massive cuts, which are only obscured by new constructs. The products and the work of the insurance companies remain intransparent as ever. The whole hiccup shows clearly: The capital-linked private pension keeps itself only through skillful lobbying over water, and seconded the federal government good. Without this, it would be even clearer that, for example, consumers hardly benefit from endowment policies. Because you can invest money safer and better. Especially when the guarantees are crumbling and the costs are so high, as shown by old, but also many new products. Classical life insurance, like private old-age provision, is an obsolete model because consumers are excessively burdened and pay into “profit-making programs” for companies, not for meaningful old-age provision.

Are there any points in the Life Insurance Reform Act that you agree with? If yes, which?

Susanna Karawanskij: Yes, of course. There are already regulations that we agree with. It is good to increase the allocation from the risk surpluses to 90 percent. But we also demand the same for the cost surpluses. A payout lock is also useful. But they would have to be reworked to be safe from bypassing. Keyword: profit transfer agreements. The addition of variable compensation at the end of the legal consultation is, in our view, to be welcomed.

However, it weighs heavily that the disclosure obligation for commissions has been recovered. Here the lobbying has worked wonders. The indication of effective costs will provide even more concealment, the construct is unfit. Thinking further, the federal government is thus ultimately misjudging the consumer’s court. This is not consumer protection, but lobbying!

The policy approach – including the first failed attempt to change the participation in the valuation reserves in the previous year – and the very hasty implementation of the law from the perspective of the insured – shattered confidence in life insurance. How can this be restored? From your point of view, what alternatives are there for citizens to provide?

Susanna Karawanskij: The trust is badly shaken. First, people are told that there is no way around private retirement provision. To underline this, the statutory pension is being ground more and more. And when the capital market suddenly does not spur and insurance companies make management and strategy mistakes, they are prone to customers’ surpluses. The responsibility is wrongly attributed to the customer. Here greed already shines through the industry, which shakes further confidence. The pig-gallop of the law’s passing reinforces this. But he also shows that critical discussions are not welcome.

Otherwise it would become even clearer that the whole system of funded, private old-age provision is eroding. Especially when the consumers are suffering more and more. First, the statutory pension must be strengthened again so that it ensures the standard of living of the individual and guarantees participation.

Ms. Karawanskij, thank you very much for the interview!

* The interest rate is a fixed interest rate agreed by banks among themselves for a period of one year for funds with a certain maturity.



News Private long-term care insurance: necessary or a waste of money?

News Private long-term care insurance: necessary or a waste of money? News always well informed

Friday the 01.07.16 , written by Jessica D’Ovidio Is private care insurance really necessary? The Bremen financial analyst Volker Looman answers this question extremely critically and with many figures in the online edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. These should show that not a long-term care insurance but the will to save is the right precaution for old age. >

Pflegeversicherung: Notwendig und individuell abgestimmt Timely provision protects against financial distress in case of care

Is a long-term care insurance required? It is not necessary for the financial analyst Looman. He goes even so far that not even persons who have no private reserves for the care case, provide with a private long-term care insurance in case of emergency. In his opinion, much more important than this insurance is a lack of consumption and the will to save . This would be best prepared for the age. The analyst appeals to the individual responsibility of individual citizens and prefers to increase the contributions of top earners for the statutory long-term care insurance. But with private savings plans, everyone can equally close the high cost gap , which arises in the care case?

Attention: Only very few people are willing to give up consumption. Even saving is difficult for many. Correspondingly large is the risk that the reserves set up for the care case will be spent on other things. With a private long-term care insurance, the money earmarked for care provision actually benefits this goal. With a non-binding offer for long-term care insurance, you can find out which tariffs belong to your shortlist.

Private care insurance necessary or rather sell the home?

Depending on the degree and duration of care, the care costs can result in a pension gap of several thousand to one hundred thousand euros after ten years. But these figures are not as dramatic as they look. After all, people in need of care could sell their own home – anyone in need of care will not have any more, Looman says. On the other hand, how people should raise the money for care, who do not have their own house, remains open.

On the other hand, if you do not have your own fortune, you should rely on the state . A private care insurance would therefore hardly necessary. If necessary, the children are dependent. However, studies show that many elderly people do not want to be a burden to their children. Accordingly, “private supplementary care insurance may be useful in individual cases to provide for the private expenses in the care,” explains the consumer center Saxony-Anhalt.

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When is a private long-term care insurance required?

Consumers should always provide collateral for old age and sickness – that is what the financial expert advocates. He is certainly right. But why, of all things, the private nursing care insurance should not be necessary, but where just she takes into account the peculiarities of nursing , is not presented in sufficient detail.

For example, the financial expert disregards a feature that is characteristic of insurances: they are safeguards for the uncertain case , which nobody knows if it will actually happen. If, for example, an insured person unexpectedly suffers a stroke at the age of 55 and becomes a long-term care case, he is in any case financially secure with long-term care insurance. This happens regardless of how much the person concerned has previously spent on retirement or long-term care.

Prefer savings plans of private long-term care insurance?

Another drawback in Looman’s calculations is the optimistic estimate of interest rates on private savings plans . He reveals how insurers are calculating to provide their insured with benefits that translate into just under six percent return on their paid-in contributions. He himself assumes that private individuals have this chance of winning. However, with fixed income or very safe term deposit accounts, such return prospects are unrealistic. Looman therefore indirectly recommends private individuals to invest a little more risk – for example by investing in equities or real estate. However, those who have to resort to the money they have invested overnight can also be unlucky with their returns during a stock market slump. Here is a private care insurance makes more sense.

Long-term care insurance: benefits can not be substantiated by numbers alone

No one wants to give up financial lethargy just because he saves money on long-term care. But the author wants to motivate the readers. However, he advises to financial measures that can be quickly thwarted by unforeseen blows of fate. In such a case, those affected must really sell the apartment or house, or let the state pay for the care. For many people, for example, the task of their own home, where the memories of the whole family hang, but only the very last resort. The emotional burden , which then comes next to the nursing care on those affected, overlooks the analyst.

  • Here you will find tips and more information on private nursing care insurance. >
  • Jessica D’Ovidio
  • editorial staff

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Question of the week: What’s wrong with the GroKo for employees?

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news Question of the week: What's wrong with the GroKo for employees? News always well informed Friday, 09.02.18 , written by Julia Meier After the longest government formation of all time there is clarity in this country: In the negotiations on the Grand Coalition (GroKo), the SPD and the Union have now agreed on the last issues and have finalized the draft for the coalition agreement. Especially workers benefit from some innovations of the future government and are partially relieved. > Der neue Koalitionsvertrag könnte für viele Arbeitnehmer für finanzielle Entlastung sorgen The innovations at GroKo look promising for employees

  • After weeks of negotiations, SPD and CDU / CSU have also agreed on the last few points in the coalition agreement for the GroKo.
  • The contract provides for a number of changes that will benefit employees in the future.
  • Changes in statutory health insurance, taxation and pensions provide greater financial relief for many workers.

The draft of the coalition agreement for the new grand coalition stands. After weeks of negotiations, both parties have now created a framework for the new government. Above all, the financial relief of citizens was always a big topic. Whether at Baukindergeld, Solidaritätszuschlag , in the pension or the statutory health insurance : In many areas, employees can look forward to more money in the future.

GroKo ensures the return of parity-financed health insurance

Good news for workers is in health protection. Because SPD and Union have agreed in their talks on the return of a parity-financed statutory health insurance. For insured persons, this means that, in addition to the general contribution rate of 14.6 percent, half of the additional contribution determined by the health insurance companies will be borne by the employer . The average additional contribution of the statutory health insurance is currently at 1.0 percent.

Employees are thus relieved of the statutory health insurance on average by 0.5 percentage points. With a monthly gross income of 3,500 euros, this is a saving of 17.50 euros. The changes are expected to start on January 1, 2019 .

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Taxpayers should benefit from the reduction of the soli until 2021

In addition to increasing the basic allowance to 9,000 euros per year for singles and 18,000 euros for married couples, workers could in future also benefit from the reduction of the solidarity surcharge (soli) .

The plan is to relieve taxpayers from 2021 to ten billion euros . For the Union and SPD, this is a measure that affects 90 per cent of all workers who pay the soli contribution. The contribution should be gradually phased out. Singles with an annual income up to the exemption limit of € 61,000 are completely exempted from the contribution payment. From this limit, the soli-contribution is then skipily abolished . According to calculations by Handelsblatt a single with a monthly gross income of 4,000 euros would have 692 euros per year more in the bag . However, when and in what form this change will take effect at the end is not yet known.

Low earners should be guaranteed a basic pension

The introduction of a Solidarrente was an important point for the SPD in the context of the soundings. This should give greater recognition to employees, especially low paid workers, who have paid pension insurance for at least 35 years. The time they took care of raising children or caring for relatives is included.

If a claim to the basic pension exists, it should amount to ten percent more than the basic state security in old age . Depending on the region, retirees can expect to spend more money each month. However, it is still uncertain when the measures to implement the basic pension will start.

Baukindergeld can relieve more than 200,000 families

In the future, parents with children will not only benefit from the increase in child benefits, which is to be increased by ten euros from 1 January 2019 and by another 15 euros from 1 January 2021 . According to the new plans, the government wants to support families in the construction or purchase of their own four walls. Accordingly, the so-called Baukindergeld, which existed until 2006, reintroduced. Families receive an annual subsidy of € 1,200 for each of their children for a maximum of ten years.

The Baukindergeld should be entitled to families with an annual gross income of up to 75,000 euros plus a tax allowance of 15,000 euros. According to the Finance Ministry, more than 200,000 families will benefit from government support in the future.

Nursing professionals should benefit from GroKo changes

Anyone working as a caregiver can look forward to the improvements in the new GroKo. In addition to the optimization of working conditions , the payment of employees in the health and elderly care is adjusted.

Measures for this are area-wide collective agreements . The changes in the employment contracts and the adjustment of the minimum wage in East and West Germany , nurses can look forward to a little more salary in the account. However, the concept is already heavily criticized, as it would burden the needy more than before and also the creation of new foster homes could not remedy the existing state of emergency.

Here are tips and more information about the investment. >

Julia Meier

editorial staff

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Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | © 2004 – 2018

During the foundation


During the foundation


Während der Gründung

Depending on which option was chosen at the end of the business start-up, there are certain ways that business start-ups must take. The choice of legal form, for example, in a start-up of great importance, while it is cleared in a takeover for the time being. The question of various funding measures that budding self-employed people can use for online marketing projects is just as important as the taxes payable.

  • legal forms
  • funding opportunities
  • Control
  • Insurance

 Legal forms

The choice of legal form is initially based on whether founders start alone or with partners in self-employment. Also the question of the limitation of liability determines the decision as well as the possible costs by the selected legal form, for example due to a necessary notarial certification. In general, a distinction is made between one-person start-ups, partnerships and corporations. The following information serves as a guide. The advice of a specialist is recommended to every founder and founder.

A-person founding

If business start-ups want to start their own business with their idea for an online marketing project, they can choose between the legal form of sole proprietorship, one-person limited liability company and one-person company. These differ, among other things, with regard to the liability issue, the expense of registering one’s own company as such, and the amount of the share capital. Self-employed individuals, for example, decide on the size of the start-up capital themselves, but are fully liable to private assets.

In a one-person limited liability company is liable only with the company assets. When founding, however, a minimum capital of 25,000 euros must be available. For the one-person company, the amount of the capital stock is even 50,000 euros. In addition, there must be a supervisory board of at least three persons. Entirely on your own the establishment of a company with this legal form is therefore not possible.

The easiest way to start a sole proprietorship. It therefore serves well as an introduction to self-employment. Over time, the legal form can or must be changed, for example, when partners are added. The biggest advantage of a sole proprietorship is that no minimum capital contribution is necessary. In 2008, this legal form accounted for around 70 percent of all corporate forms in Germany.


Während der Gründung - Personengessellschaft
A partnership is one of
possible company forms.

For a partnership, at least two people must join to form a business. There is no minimum capital required in most forms. The shareholders are then liable with their own assets. Possible is the foundation of:

  • Civil Society (GbR)
  • Limited partnership (KG)
  • Open Trading Company (OHG)
  • Partnership company (PartG)
  • GmbH & Co. KG.

The GbR is the simplest form of business partnership and arises automatically when founders work together with a partner. With a KG there is the possibility to join with a partner, who wants to hold only limited. This is referred to as a limited partner or Teilhaft liable to the amount of his deposit, while the entrepreneur, the so-called general partner vouches with his private assets. He has the sole right to decide. If you want to limit your liability as a general partner, choose GmbH & Co. KG. However, a minimum capital of 25,000 euros is necessary.


The formation of a corporation is usually more complex than that of a partnership or a sole proprietorship. The advantage, however, is that liability is always limited. The corporations include:

  • Limited liability company (GmbH)
  • Corporate company (UG)
  • Joint-stock company)
  • registered cooperative (eG)

In the case of corporations, liability for the shareholders or shareholders is limited to their contribution. These persons do not have to be actively involved in the management, but can only provide their capital. In view of the fact that many start-ups are initially small online projects with little start-up capital, as a legal form for many, corporations will only become important as the company grows. You find further information on the topic here.

Special features – the mini-GmbH

Since the entry into force of the Act to Modernize the GmbH Law and to Fight Abuses (MoMiG) on November 1, 2008 founders can more easily start a capital company. For with the mini-GmbH, which is also referred to as a corporate company (limited liability) – short UG – is no minimum capital of 25,000 euros needed. Founders and founders will be required to pay one Euro as share capital for this form of business start-up. Like the GmbH, the UG must also be founded by the notary and entered in the commercial register. The mini-GmbH is just suitable for people who have little money available and want to limit their liability. As of January 1, 2012, 64,371 mini-GmbHs already existed in Germany.

Funding opportunities

Funding opportunities

Funding possibilities of
Banks use.

Entrepreneurs do not have to finance their online marketing project completely on their own. There are many support programs that support prospective self-employed before, during and after the foundation. The funding possibilities of the federal government concentrate on the fact that entrepreneurs do not refrain from a professional advice because of the costs. Unemployees can access the start-up grant or the start-up allowance. In addition, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) offers a loan with low interest rates.

Start-up consulting, management consulting and start-up coaching

Depending on which phase of the start-up self-employed are, they can consult various experts. Business start-up consultants help, for example, before the actual start of self-employment. Some federal states subsidize such services with a voucher. If the foundation is at least one year old, the federal government provides a grant if the help of business consultants is used. Intensive is the founder coaching, in which founders are cared for 12 months by a coach. Depending on the state, the financial support varies between 3,000 and 4,500 euros.

Start-up grant and start-up allowance

The start-up subsidy is aimed at recipients of the unemployment benefit I. If the unemployment is terminated by the founding of the company, if there is a business plan and there is still a residual entitlement to unemployment benefits for at least 150 days, the federal government supports start-up entrepreneurs in two phases. First, a subsidy amounting to the last unemployment benefit is paid for six months. In addition, an amount of 300 euros for statutory social insurance added. The latter may, under certain circumstances, be paid in the second phase for a further nine months. The total funding period is 15 months.

The starting fee is intended for recipients of the unemployment benefit II or Hartz 4. Depending on how long the applicant is unemployed and how large is the need community, the amount of funding calculated. In addition, a loan of 5,000 euros can be requested for the procurement of physical assets. The maximum funding period is 24 months.

KfW promotional money

Self-employed persons can apply for the company loan of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) at the house bank. The condition is that the business started more than three years ago and the applicant is creditworthy. This funding measure is therefore aimed more at self-employed people in the online marketing sector, whose companies have left the difficult start-up phase behind. The advantages of a KfW loan are the very favorable interest rate and a fixed interest rate of up to 20 years. For start-up founders, this means that they receive debt capital on favorable terms and can plan for the long term future-proof due to fixed interest rates. Further information can be found on the KfW website.



Important taxes at a glance.

Taxes that are due for entrepreneurs are an important issue for any business start-up. Even those who become self-employed in the network have to work hard on it. The most important types of taxes are income tax, sales and input tax and trade tax. They must be dealt with exactly, so that it comes later to no financially painful claim from the tax office. A tax advisor should be consulted in any case.

income tax

Income must always be taxed, as well as the income of start-ups in the online marketing area. The tax rate depends on the amount of the profit. However, there is a basic allowance that is tax-free and in 2012 is € 8,652 for single persons and € 17,304 for married couples. If the profit is higher, the tax must be higher than the tax deduction. It is due until May 31 of the following year. However, the tax office stipulates prepayments of income tax, which must be paid on a quarterly basis.

Caution: If the profit is higher than expected, founders often have the problem of paying the arrears and prepayment due. This tax should therefore not be underestimated.

value added tax

VAT or sales tax is always payable when entrepreneurs sell goods or services. For most products, it is 19 percent, otherwise 7 percent. The sales tax is indeed paid by the customer, but the money must continue to be paid to the tax office and is not intended for your own purse. Since founders not only write invoices, but also settle them themselves, the sales tax for such operating expenses can be deducted from the sales tax, which is paid to the tax office. This process is referred to as input tax deduction. The difference between value added tax and input tax is then paid to the tax office.

In the first two years after the online marketing project is founded, the VAT return must be submitted electronically to the tax office by the 10th of the following month. If the sales tax remains below € 7,500 thereafter, a quarterly advance notification is sufficient.

Exceptions – small business regulation

Small business owners can be exempted from VAT. In addition, their sales in the previous calendar year must not exceed € 17,500 and are unlikely to exceed € 50,000 in the current calendar year. The invoices to customers are then issued without VAT, which has the advantage for private entrepreneurs that they can offer their goods cheaper. However, when small businesses are used, there is no input tax deduction. Start-ups can thus lose money on large business acquisitions because they can not offset the sales tax due for them with the sales tax on their sold products. If the decision is taken against the small business rules, the decision is binding for five years.

business tax

The trade tax is due when self-employed entrepreneurs operate, which is especially the case for online trading. But also the areas of crafts, services and industry are part of it. The amount of the tax depends on the commercial income and the location of the company. Natural persons (compared to legal entities such as corporations) and partnerships are granted a deduction of 24,500 euros per year. It is only for amounts above that the business tax has to be paid.



Best protection with insurance.

Every entrepreneur – also in the online area – has a very individual need for insurance, so that a personal consultation by an expert is always helpful. Especially at the beginning of the business start-ups, founders save on their insurance premiums. There are some important safeguards that should not be left out. In addition to compulsory health insurance, these include occupational disability insurance, public liability insurance and at least one private pension insurance.

Disability insurance

Start-ups are much more dependent on their labor force than, for example, employees. Especially in the first, intensive and exhausting months and years after the foundation of the online marketing project much depends on the ability to work. If the self-employed become permanently ill and can no longer work, that means not only the end of the business, but also the total financial loss.

Many self-employed are unaware of this danger as they enjoy the best of health. But this can quickly change as a result of an accident, depression, burn-out or other illness. In addition, they are not entitled to the reduced earning capacity pension if they no longer voluntarily pay into the statutory pension insurance or have already fulfilled the waiting period through an employee relationship. Occupational disability insurance is therefore all the more important in protecting oneself from the financial and existential consequences of incapacity for work. In the insured event, the insurance pays a monthly pension determined by the founder of the business.


The public liability insurance takes over claims for damages of third parties, which have been caused by the operational activity of the founder. Depending on what kind of online marketing project it is, this insurance is very important. If an online store is managed from home, it is hard to imagine that the work will result in personal injury, property damage or financial loss. That does not mean that the insurance is not necessary. At the latest when the company grows, employees are added and a direct customer contact develops, the public liability is a compulsory insurance for company founders. Public liability insurance should always be tailored to the specific needs of each company. Only then is optimal insurance coverage possible.

Private pension

Even after the step into self-employment, some professional groups are obliged to pay contributions into the statutory pension insurance. This includes, for example, carers who themselves do not employ workers, and skilled craftsmen requiring a license. As a rule, however, self-employed persons do not pay into the statutory pension insurance unless they have voluntarily decided to do so. Without pension insurance contributions, no statutory pension will be paid later, unless a pension entitlement was acquired before the start of self-employment. But even then, the pension is so low that start-up entrepreneurs are dependent on private pensions in old age.

With the basic or Rürup pension, the self-employed have the opportunity to build a private pension, which is supported by the state. Because the contributions for the Rürup pension can be made in the tax return as special expenses for tax purposes. The limit is 20,000 euros for singles and 40,000 euros for married couples. However, in 2012, only 74 percent of them will be credited, and by 2025 the proportion will increase by two percent annually to 100 percent. In addition to tax savings, the Rürup pension has the advantage that entrepreneurs can vary the monthly payments and thus adjust their financial situation.

Thursday, 16.05.13 , written by Cornelia Teich Contributions for insurance and pensions should not be missing in any tax return. However, taxpayers must correctly enter their insurance and pension contributions in the tax return form in order to save tax properly. For this purpose, insured persons use 

 Steuererklärung: Versicherungen richtig von der Steuer absetzen

The deadline is approaching: Most taxpayers have until 31 May to submit their tax return to the tax office. Anyone who still has to torment themselves through the forms should remember: with the error-free statement of the insurance premiums and the pension contributions, the tax burden can generally be reduced significantly. Not only the contributions for the health and long-term care insurance can be claimed up to a certain amount for tax purposes, but also the contributions into the Riester contract or the expenses for the Rürup pension.

Enter insurance premiums correctly

In order to deduct the contributions for insurance and pension from the tax, two forms are important above all: the investment precaution expenses and the plant AV. Who wants to assert his pension expenses and insurance contributions in the income tax declaration, indicated in the coat sheet on line 40, that he adds all the relevant information in the relevant annexes. In this way, he informs the tax office that the contributions should be considered as special tax expenses.

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Investment for pension costs: deduct insurance premiums

All information on precautionary expenses must be entered by taxpayers in the annex. These include contributions to old-age provision, ie statutory pension insurance, professional pension funds and Rürup contracts. The data to be entered can be found in the employment tax statement, the documents of the pension fund and the provider of the basic pension.

In addition, the health insurance and long-term care insurance contributions of the taxable person, his spouse and the children are noted in the investment sheet.

Editorial Tip

Since 2014 taxpayers have had their pre-filled tax return ready. With it you can retrieve data that is available at the tax office, such as name, address and date of birth, but also contributions to the Riester pension. However, the pre-filled tax return meets with criticism due to its incompleteness.

Annex AV: Information on pension contributions

Riester savers can tell the tax office their information on pension contributions in the Annex AV. Here you can enter contributions up to 2,100 euros. The tax office then automatically checks whether a tax advantage through the special tax deduction for the taxpayer is more advantageous than the granted state Riester allowance. Above all, singles who have no children often benefit from the special deduction and can look forward to a tax saving.

Other pension expenses in the tax declaration

In the tax declaration, employees can claim other pension costs up to a maximum of 1,900 euros, for self-employed persons the deductible maximum amount is 2,800 euros. For retirees, pensioners, childless self-employed as well as low-earning workers whose expenses are below the applicable maximum amount, it may be worthwhile taking into account pension expenses as well as contributions for the health and long-term care insurance and other precautionary expenses such as accident insurance, liability insurance or disability insurance to indicate in the tax return. However, it should be noted that, for example, contributions for occupational accident or liability insurance are deemed to be income-related expenses and must therefore be reported accordingly to taxpayers with income from employment as part of Annex N.

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