Paul in Germany: An Insight into 25 Years as an Expat 

Paul in Germany: An Insight into 25 Years as an Expat 
Updated on April 9, 2024

Beginning the Journey as an Expat 

Paul’s life as an expat began over 25 years ago when he was sent from New York to Frankfurt by his employer. From the outset, he knew he still had to pay US taxes, and KPMG was assigned to take care of his taxes. The need for such a large accountancy initially confused him, but after the first year of “pain and suffering,” he recognized the complexity involved. 

Living and Working in Germany: An Expat’s Perspective 

Paul’s connection to Germany was forged through learning the language in high school and spending a year abroad. The combination of work opportunities, relationships, and an innate love for the country drew him back. 

Motivations, Challenges, and Rewards of Expat Life 

Raised in the US but originally from Slovakia, Paul’s move abroad was fueled by summer memories in Europe and an unbreakable connection to Germany. Despite an internal battle over whether to keep his US citizenship, he’s fully embraced life in Germany. The social aspect, the sense of community, and the European lifestyle have all contributed to his long-lasting expat status. 

Enjoying Life in Germany and Missing the Little Things About the US 

Germany’s lifestyle, raising his son, and growing his business are highlights of Paul’s life abroad. While he appreciates his life there, he occasionally misses US conveniences, Texas BBQ, California Sushi, and good Mexican food. However, his community in Germany feels more connected, less divisive, and overall, more “normal” than what he experienced in the US. 

What’s the Biggest Reward of Being an Expat? 
I love living in Europe and never felt any association to the US. There is so much that I enjoy doing here in Europe and I feel comfortable having a family and raising kids here. The “social” aspect of Europe and my expat life as part of it is what kept me an expat for so long. 

Before Greenback, Paul’s taxes were handled by KPMG and later a local CPA in Frankfurt. When his trusted CPA retired, he was forced to look elsewhere for assistance. 

Greenback: A Decade of Seamless Expat Tax Service 

With Greenback, Paul has found a partner for nearly a decade. He chose them for their ideal mix of options and appreciated the remote, automated, and consistent nature of their business. A personal touch, expat-oriented founders, and a less corporate feel made Greenback a preferred choice. 

Addressing Anxieties and Experiencing Benefits with Greenback 

Initially uncertain if Greenback would deliver, Paul’s experience has been marked by satisfaction and support. His biggest benefit? The freedom from preparing returns himself, allowing him more time for business and personal pursuits. 

Choosing Greenback and Recommending It to Others 

Paul’s recommendation for anyone considering Greenback reflects his practical philosophy: “Time is money; outsource whatever you don’t want to do.” Despite losing one accountant to unfortunate circumstances, the transition was smooth, and he continues to value his relationship with his current Greenback accountant. 

Reflecting on 25 Years as an Expat in Germany 

Paul wouldn’t change much about his expat journey, though he occasionally contemplates a second home in the Alps or near a southern European beach. Emphasizing adaptability and the importance of learning the local language, Paul’s expat life has defined his career, even leading him to be told he’s “more German than Germans.” 

Navigating the Complexities of Owning a Business as an Expat 

Owning a business in Germany has brought its tax challenges, but Paul’s reliance on Greenback has made his US tax process much easier. He amusingly refers to tax as a sport in Germany, second only to football (or soccer for Americans), but with Greenback, he finds himself winning the game. 

Paul’s story as an expat in Germany is rich with lessons, laughter, and a love for his adopted home. His experience with Greenback has shaped his tax journey, allowing him to focus on what truly matters to him. For anyone contemplating a move abroad or navigating the complexities of expat taxes, Paul’s story offers invaluable insights and encouragement.  

Have Questions? Not Sure What to Do Next? Get Help Early! 

For US expats struggling with filing their taxes, Greenback offers an easy-to-use platform and knowledgeable accountants that could be the solution you need to achieve peace of mind. Don’t delay, and get started with filing your taxes today. 

For general questions on expat taxes or working with Greenback, contact our Customer Champions

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