Taxes and Social Security


Whether you have to pay taxes while working at the Max Planck Institute for Biophyiscal Chemistry will be dependent on various factors:

  • Grant and scholarship holders are generally exempt from paying taxes.
  • If you have an employment contract and are staying for less than six months, you will pay taxes in your home country.
  • If you have an employment contract and are staying in Germany for longer than half a year, you will automatically be liable for income tax and social security deductions. The taxes and deductions due will in this case be withheld from your salary by your employer and paid direct to the state.

To ensure that you do not have to pay taxes in Germany and your home country, there are double taxation agreements in place between Germany and various other states defining where your tax is payable. Please contact the institute's administration for more information. Alternatively, you can visit the German Federal Ministry of Finance website.

When must I file a tax return?

If you are liable for tax in Germany, at the end of the year you will receive your annual tax certificate. Please submit this along with a tax return to your competent Finanzamt (tax office). The tax amount due will depend on your level of income, family status and resulting tax category.

If you are liable for paying taxes and if you come from abroad, please ask at the institute's personnel department right after your start where to obtain the required documents. 

Social Security / Pension

Citizens from EU countries continue to contribute to their national pension. Give your National Insurance Number to the personnel department. If you are from an EU country you have the same social security rights and duties as Germans once you are working. Other countries: Your earnings here may not count towards social security in your home country. You still may have to make payments to the German social security system. For details regarding your specific country, contact a German embassy or consulate, or your home country's embassy in Berlin.

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