Thursday, February 25, 2010

When Germany planned to buy Tax Dodgers Stolen Data!

It has quite a while I did not publish any post, well I was occupied with my tax declarations for the year 2010. Yes, a year has gone by and the very uninteresting work begins with the filing of tax declarations. And to be honest, the Germany’s tax system is the most complex in the world. So you can imagine how tough it shall be to file tax declaration.

Every year lot new rules and definitely needs to purchase an updated software, start gathering all the relevant documents and then start input the data. You may believe or not, I have not finished it yet despite it has been almost two weeks now. It is a lot of work but I really enjoy it doing myself than depending upon any tax consultant. Well, I could save some bucks too and also it does help me get acquainted with the latest taxation rules.

I am person who believe paying taxes is the right thing to do and just not because the state utterly depends upon on my payment of some thousands euro and not because I don’t have a Swiss Bank account. May be not everyone think the same and lot many has got the notorious Swiss Bank accounts.


Many of you might have already read or heard thou that there has been lot of hue and cry over a last few weeks in Germany over the purchase of about 1500 Tax Dodgers data stolen by an informant. It was initially believed that there might be more than 100 million euro stashed by these around 1500 tax dodgers in Swiss Banks. The informant has already provided some five accounts worth 1 million euro in tax as proof and demanded €2.5 millions for the complete list.

After lot of elaboration and debate, Germany decided to buy the stolen data despite lot of criticism and despite the warnings from the Swiss government. And now Swiss started threatening to disclose the data of the the German politicians. Will the State bend the rules and be a crook to catch the crooks? Still the debate is on.

Whatever it is following the Germany’s decision to buy the stolen tax dodgers data, terrified tax dodgers are turning themselves in to avoid investigations and possible legal actions. It has been estimated the tax revenues from these may reach more than 400 million euro. Well, it has already exceeded Germany’s expectations.

But what do you think, should Germany or any other state in Germany’s position should buy the “stolen” tax dodgers data against the laws of the state?

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inder Wahnsinn! – Since My Name is Indian?

I never wanted to muse over the recent developments over Shahrukh Khan and MNIK issue. Yet, today I have been thru mental anguish for being an Indian. It all started when some of my colleagues in the morning came to me and started adoring Sharukh khan for he is in Berlin these days for Berlinale 2010. They have showed me an article from the very popular local newspaper which showered praise for Sharukh Khan, known as King Khan in Germany.

The newspaper rained accolades for King Khan for being a Messiah and bridging the cultures between the East and the West. The “God of movies” , “the King of Bollywood” whose fans account for more than 3 millions far more than the fans of George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt together. He is the dream man of every Indian and being a Muslim and his wife being a Hindu, he lives a dream of Peace.

Well, definitely this article is not a publicity stunt from SRK, it shows how much SRK has influenced minds and hearts of the people in the West. He definitely has taught Germans to be warm-hearted. My colleagues were so overwhelmed and so do I after reading the article. I did feel proud too being an India.

Later in the day, the same set of couples approached me to ask me about the recent developments in India concerning to MNIK as they have read again something regarding it. I did not understand how to explain it to them. I tried to explain them but in brief. I was feeling a little low when I briefed them. My colleagues retorted that why the hell on this earth some people could doubt the integrity of SRK. They asked me what else he needs to do to prove to which extent he has integrated the people of India and allied the nations with his dream of peace.

I was indeed speechless…… My anguish has no words……..


MNIK poster in Berlin

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Online Edition of the newspaper article thou not exact, yet some snippets (German):

Berlinale: Berlinale is the most famous film festival of Germany held every year in Berlin. My Name is Khan is also being premiered this year with Sharukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar walk the red-carpet. Berlinale 2010 is held from Febrauary 11-21 screening almost 400 films. More info at:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Karneval (Carnival) in Germany – Alaaf! Helau!

When we hear about Carnival, the world famous and the most grand Rio Carnival from Brazil flashes to us, yet Carnival is celebrated in many countries during different period of time and Germany is no exception. Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf are most famous and hold the biggest parades for the Carnival. Cologne’s Carnival fest is highly regarded all over Europe with millions thronging to the city from all over the Europe to not only have a glimpse of the most renowned Cologne Cathedral but also to indulge in madness of ridicule and let loose themselves.

The tradition of Karneval or Fasching or Fastnacht or Mardi Gras dates back to medieval Germany which developed downright blasphemy with people dressing up as animals and performing crazy acts like Mass of Asses. After 1820, Karneval was used as an event to make fun of French people, whom they hated and held grudges. Till today, the Karneval satire is kept alive with displaying caricatures of the most hated people during the Karneval parades.

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The Council of Eleven, “Elferrat”, tradition dating back to 1823, wearing fool’s caps as their official headgear meet at 11:11 on November 11 to announce the start of Fifth Season of the year i.e., the Karneval session and plan the events for the Karneval every year. The main festivities of Karneval starts around Thursday before Ash Wednesday and ends with Ash Wednesday, “Asher Mittwoch”. So this year, the main Karneval period of Cologne and Düsseldorf starts on Carnival Thursday called Altweiber (Old Woman Day) in Düsseldorf or Wieverfastelovend (The Women’s Day) in Cologne. The tradition of women cutting men’s ties and shoe laces is still followed in Cologne and Düsseldorf. Parades are organized by different Carnival clubs from Friday and the highlight is the Rose Monday parade. On this day people dressed in costumes gather on the streets in chilly winter weather crying Alaaf Alaaf! in Cologne and Helau! Helau!  in Düsseldorf  and let loose themselves as the most flamboyant parades pass thru.

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Rose Monday Parade of 15.02.2010:

Cologne: starts at 10:30 at Chlodwigplatz of Cologne and moves along a 6.5 kms stretch thru the downtown of Cologne for about 4 hours. For more details check this out:

Düsseldorf: starts at Joseph-Beuys-Ufer and moves onto the Oberkasseler Bridge over Rhine and thru to the downtown of Düsseldorf. The Bilker street is the best place to enjoy the parade. More Info at:

Well, parades are just fun during the day, yet the celebrations continue all thru the night with almost every pub organizing special Carnival parties. Just time to wither out the chilly weather.

Well, I am definitely excited with the Carnival this year, I know it will be icy-weather out there, yet I just want to have bash on these days to get rid of the wintry gloom.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Must Have Insurances

Many of us have been living in Germany for quite a while, yet we always fail to get enough information about the mandatory insurances in Germany besides Health Insurance or we just do not know or just we ignore them. If you have not got these mandatory insurances then I just say you definitely are living on the edge in Germany.
I shall list here some mandatory and optional but very effective insurances which I feel everyone should have them to be more secure and at peace in Germany. I shall also not delve delve with compulsory Health Insurance as we all have in all cases thou it is private or public depending upon our income levels and our priorities.

PrivatHaftpflichtversicherung (Personal Liability Insurance):

This one is the most mandatory insurance for everyone so that the insured person shall be protected from the costs of involuntary damages to the public or private properties.
There can be many chances that one may involuntarily damage other’s personal things, for eg., you have visited a friend and you tend to be very helpful to your friend, try to help your friend by adjusting his disoriented carpet by pulling it not realizing that the television table lying on it, where on it there is newly-bought 54.6 inches LED television costing more than 1500 euro, which just was brought down onto the ground because of your sheer pull applied by your own hands on the carpet. Well, you will be left with a black face and your friend with red. If you have a PrivatHaftpflichtversicherung then you can still have a smile, whereby with proper proof of the damage you caused to the private property of your friend, you can claim the total cost of your friend’s television.
You can find the best options from Janitos for PrivatHaftpflichtversicherung around 60-80 euro per year:

Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung (Disability Insurance):

I wish everyone should be doing better all the time and never be in situations whereby you may be some sort of disability due to unforeseen health hazards in one’s life. “Touch Wood”. Yet we can never expect what may come.
Disability Insurance is mandatory everyone who is working, which shall be benefit the insured incase of an accident and prolonged illness. This insurance is supplement to the accident insurance yet will be quite helpful during prolonged illness. During Prolonged Illness your Health Insurance shall pay almost full-salary for not more than 6 weeks and much reduced salary (50-60%of Net Income) for not more than 6 months. Yet if you have a Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung, you shall get all the time of your prolonged illness or accident much more than to have a better life.
Alte Leipziger assures you a payment of 2000 euro every month during your prolonged illness and accident recover period if you pay 101 euro every month when you are earning and having a better health. Though it may sound a little expensive paying 101 euro every month, but it definitely will be a boon during the bane period of our lives.

PrivatUnfallversicherung (Accident Insurance):

Usually for those who are working, your employer shall provide you with Accident Insurance. If not then it is mandatory to have a accident insurance in Germany where there is much risk due to Autobahn traffics, unlimited speeds, weather and accidents due to many other unexpected means. An accident insurance shall provide you with complete coverage of your treatment which usually health insurances do not. Therefore you definitely need to have an accident insurance for everyone in your family. I hope no one should be in such ominous situations, yet intelligence lies in having an accident insurance in very costly health services nation.
By the way if your employer does not provide any, you can ask for one. If they cannot, then it is better to get one in any case.
Janitos has the best options costing around 100 euro per year with good coverage.

PrivatRentenversicherung (Pension Insurance) (Optional):

I shall categorize PrivatRentenversicherung as optional, as many of us may not opt to live in Germany forever. For those who desire to retire in Germany can opt for some better Pension insurances whereby you pay additionally some amount towards your pension insurance and once you retire you can reap better amounts every month than the usual social pension pay which may not be sufficient enough to have better retirement life. There are different kinds of Rentenversicherung and I advice you to consult a Financial Consultant who can guide you to a good Pension Insurance to meet your requirements.

Risiko Lebensversicherung (Risk Life Insurance) (Optional):

Risk Life Insurance as the name suggests the insured during the insured period dies, a contractually agreed sum shall be paid to the beneficiary of the insured person. This shall protect the families of the insured person.
Europa provides the best options for Risiko Lebensversicherung:

Hausratversicherung (Household Insurance) (Optional):

Hausratversicherung shall protect the insured from the damages or loss caused to the personal property from theft, fire accidents, climatic hazards etc. The cost of damages or loss of the property shall be paid by your insurance company if you have a House-hold insurance. Usually it is advisable for families with kids to have this insurance.

Rechtsschutzversicherung (Legal Expenses Insurance) (Optional):

Rechtsschutzversicherung or Legal Expenses or more informally Lawyer’s Insurance is an optional which shall pay for your legal issues i.e. towards your lawyer’s fees for his/her services for your legal issues. It does help in Job-Crisis to sue your employer. Usually a Rechtsschutzversicherung costs from 12€ – 30€ per month depending upon the contractual agreements.
You can find the best Financial Consultation without any penny to pay from MLP Financial Consultants spread across Germany. You can find English speaking Consultants in every branch of MLP. Please note MLP Services are free of cost. You really don’t have to spend even a cent from your pocket for their best services.
For those living around Essen especially for Indians, you can contact Mr. Pradeep Tharakan, an Indian who selflessly extends services in English.
Pradeep Tharakan
MLP Essen
Telefon: +49 (0) 2 01 / 72 94 80 -54
Telefax: +49 (0) 62 22 / 90 90 56 11
MLP Finanzdienstleistungen AG
Essen III
45127 Essen
P.S: I shall appreciate if you leave your comments and suggestions if you have better options and if you think there is more to be added to the list.