German Freelancer Tax

The Merkel government has proposed a plan called “Rewarding Life’s Work” which is essentially a 350 Euro per month social security contribution that would be required by all the self employed. Add the new tax to required health insurance, rising energy and food costs and Berlin may loose some of it’s appeal for musicians. My personal opinion is my generation is now seeing it’s first real economic challenge. There are bridge tolls in the NY area that are $15. $10 is more like $1 used to be. We can complain but the world’s resources are being fought for and there are smart people on the other side of the world working all day for pennies. I would like a Utopia where artists could just concentrate on art but I don’t forsee that happening. My advice is work hard and use technology to your advantage. Use it to create pockets of time to paint and sing your masterpieces world be dammed.

“The German government’s plan to force freelancers to pay a compulsory retirement ‘contribution’ will kill off entrepreneurship and destroy millions of independent careers. That’s the opinion of Tim Wessels, an IT specialist from Hamburg who has launched a petition against the so-called “Rewarding Life’s Work” law. Freelancers will be forced to pay €350+ a month to support the broken pension system, on top of the €300-€600 they must already pay for health insurance (plus other taxes). Demanding that entrepreneurs fork out at least €650 a month in contributions before they earn a single cent will end innovation in Germany.” –

For more info on Rewarding Life’s Work: Skrufff, Exberliner and Deskmag

photo credit: lampenlee

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

18 thoughts on “German Freelancer Tax”

    1. Well any political system gone too far starts to hurt. We do need some taxes… I wouldn’t want to live in a place to no law, police, roads, public schools and help for those who can’t help themselves.

      1. Actually you could live without public schools very well, because there would still be private schools, which would work by the rules of free market, so the rules of competition would apply (better quality of education at constantly reducing price). You could afford to pay for them, because there would be no taxation to finance public education, so you would have more money in your pocket, and the cost of private eduction would be lower, because it is managed better. The best thing is, you would have the freedom to spent the money the way you would think would be the best. Some taxation is needed to finance the police and the army, but personal involvement in charity is more cost-effective than government financed social care.

        1. Governments are spending more money so politicians could have more power that would give them more possibilities to make pre-election promises. They aren’t doing it for the society.

    2. Do yo know anything about Germany?!

      I live here. It is the most liberal and capitalist you find in the old Continent (set aside the UK).
      This tax has nothing to do with socialism. If you pay before profit (that is no matter how much money you make) it will only favour the big guys/companies. Those that have the power to support it. This is Capitalist crap, liberal ruling.
      Get your ideals straight…
      Merkel, the Chanceller of Germany is right wing, from a right wing party: liberals. They say it so.
      You better read before hate!

      1. Rising taxation = bigger government budget = more government spending = interventionism =/= liberalism
        Say what you want, but EU is not liberal at all, with it’s fiscalism, high social care spending and price regulations.

  1. where do you think will be a great city for artists in the future?

    “My advice is work hard and use technology to your advantage. Use it to create pockets of time to paint and sing your masterpieces world be dammed.”

    yes and those pockets of time are smaller if you’re on facebook all day :)

  2. this is just the begining my friend…
    they´re are trying to make people pay for their mistakes and for their ignorance, just like politicians do here in Brasil.
    the world has been ruled by these kind of imposition long enough…
    the solution? just don´t pay it. specially if everyday people won´t get any instantly benefit from it.
    trust me,Europe now is living what i´ve seen in my country all my life: they sell the ideia that people really need to live in their system by eliminating any kind of self employment, so all kinds of art-related business or activities are the first to go down.
    their ideia is :
    1-we dificult even more your creative life so you people don´t think by yourselves
    2-this way you people will have to continue think with, and buy, our ideia of real life
    3- you people pay what we want for products that just don´t help a generall better life
    4- and most important: all this just to spread fear and chaos in the mind of the youth, making tomorrow people think that acting their way the future is certain.

    just don´t pay it !

    1. Well I do believe in a unconscious conspiracy going on. In order for Governments to compete on the world stage they feel they need to have their citizens produce. What everyone needs to realize is without art and culture there is no wealth.

  3. It is not really Socialism — it’s coming from a right wing government imposing austerity measures at home and indeed throughout Europe.

    1. Of course it is. There is pension system and obligatory health care and high taxation to finance everything. Just because they are calling themselves “right wing”, doesn’t necessary make them right wing, does it? Germany has got full blown socialist system, which has to lead to bankruptcy some time in the future.

  4. I don’t get why people are still so phobic about socialism? The fifties are long gone, we’re living in 2012! Socialism is a concept of the past, and capitalism has shown that it was built on stupid dogmas made to keep the pennies rolling.
    What we have now is really just the consequence of all the bullshit concepts like free market, globalisation and deregulation. The crisis has shown very well that the market is not adjusting itself and competition is only making the big ones bigger. Products have become increasingly cheaper, but also cheaply made. Just look at music gear.

    What governments are doing (and Mrs. Merkel is certainly no exception here) is trying to adjust things without facing the actual problem. They still protect the banks and the financial products market (which is the cause of all the crap) and try to solve the problem by taxing people.
    This is a clear sign to me that they have either not understood anything about the financial crisis or their hands are just as equally dirty, and they don’t want to loose their privileges.
    do you know the ratio between the highest and lowest income in Europe it’s about 300:1? 0.1% of the population earns 200 times more than the rest of the people. In the USA it’s a lot higher. This means 0,1% of the population suck up all the money. But the fact is: what are they doing with all the money? Not that much in the end. They don’t drive the economy. What drives the eonomy is how well the remaining 99% is earning, how much they can spend.
    I think if we want to get out of this mess, we have to stop thinking that changing the current system means being socialists, that competition is not making the world a better place and that if the income of people was to be in a ratio of 10:0 (top to bottom) we’d have a lot less to worry about.

    As an artist you rely a lot on collaboration, exchange. That’s how the economy should work as well. If you have played in a band you’ll know that if the members are all just in total competition with each other and don’t work together, the band will go nowhere. If becomes a fight and you will do a lot of things that are not in the interest of the band and won’t make the music better.

    1. You’re wrong sir, big time. You can’t blame capitalism for anything that happened, because capitalism doesn’t exist in western civilisation any more. The problems that we come across occur because instead of capitalism there is interventionism which is exactly what capitalism isn’t about.
      The system, that we live in is corporate socialism – and the name doesn’t come from the word “corporations”.
      You wrote that “(the governments)still protect the banks and the financial products market (which is the cause of all the crap) and try to solve the problem by taxing people.” Again that’s exactly what capitalism and free market isn’t about. Bailing out corporations is a proof that there is no free market, because governments are intervening and spending YOUR money to help private institutions.
      People don’t have money, and big shots have is because governments are helping corporations and imposing taxes on the common people. Again, this has nothing to do with free market.
      You wrote that “If you have played in a band you’ll know that if the members are all just in total competition with each other and don’t work together, the band will go nowhere.” The band member aren’t competing among themselves, because they have a common goal. They might be “competing” with other bands, but that’s not entirely accurate, because music is the field where the sense of “worse” and “better” is very subjective. With all due respect, you should read up on free market theories before you accuse it with your communist argumentation. Free market is just because you can do whatever you want with your life , and socialism isn’t because government is choosing what is best for you, what is the best way to spend YOUR money and you don’t have a vote in this (elections doesn’t count). The bigger the power of governments is, the less free the market is.

      1. You also wrote “As an artist you rely a lot on collaboration, exchange. That’s how the economy should work as well.” I agree on that, collaboration and exchange are one of the main things that drive free economy but the collaborations should be free, not forced like in socialism.

  5. 350 eur on 300-600 is a lot, damn. Still, I think “pawel” couldn’t be more wrong. Privatisaton of schools (at least as I see it happening over here) has the effect that lots of people just can’t afford it and the teachers (now out of work because of the forced privatization) will gladly work for peanuts. Free market…

    Oh what a wonderful world this is, huh…pawel?


  6. hey people,WAKE UP!
    no matter the kind of government you have: capitalism,socialism,corporate socialism,religious fundamentalists and the list goes on ; I´TS ALL THE SAME,at the end of the day.
    rich people got richer and poor people got fucked up.
    nobody has to be an expert in politics and economics to see that what is important for big companies and most of politicians around the world is that they can´t stop making money if it´s not for their own benefits.
    anyway,hope you guys in Europe(specially in Germany) are getting ready for your fight.
    it´s kind of funny,thinking that “mainstream” music is being made just to sell cars,vodka and the shit to “party people”.
    cheers !!!

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