Digital Nomads in Berlin: Tips for tax issues

Digitale Nomaden in Berlin

Berlin is without doubt one of Europe’s hotspots for digital nomads. The city has more than 150 co-working spaces offering highspeed Internet and everything else you need for mobile working. Then there are also numerous co-working cafes such as the Betahaus Café or the Five Elephants where start-ups, bloggers, coders and other digital nomads can be found.

Berlin is, on the whole, a relatively affordable city with western standards and excellent infrastructure. Supermarkets and small convenience stores are open late into the night, public transport is excellent, car and bike sharing options can be found on every street corner, 5G mobile Internet is available, free WiFi is available almost everywhere in the city and the whole world can be reached affordably from Berlin airport. There is also a large community of digital nomads as well as an extensive range of workshops and events in which you can participate. The place to be!


If you are a digital nomad planning on coming to Berlin and are in need of accommodation, then take a look at our page on “Finding accommodation”! There you will find a range of great offers for temporary lodging.

The truth is: The multi-location lifestyle concept is increasingly popular. This is very much the case for Berlin too. Freedom from time and location obligations - it’s a wonderful feeling. However, the freedom of this lifestyle brings with it a few challenges. We would like to take a closer look at one of these - the issue of taxes.

Where you work is not the same as where you live

As an employee, freelancer or entrepreneur, you can’t avoid paying taxes, no matter where in the world you are. However, if your workplace is in a different country to the one in which you are resident, then working out how much tax is due can be a problem.

The following generally applies: Taxes are paid in the country where the business for which you work is registered - the place of operation. If, however, you spend a longer period of time in another country and register as being resident there, then the situation can change.

Double taxation is not a rarity

Since you are subject to taxation in both the country where you work (tax residency) and in your home country (place of residence), digital nomads can end up having to pay double taxes. There is usually an international agreement in place (known as a double taxation agreement ) to regulate such situations. Speak to a qualified tax advisor for more information in this area!

The rule in Berlin is: According to § 1 Abs. 1 EStG (Section German Income Tax Act), every person resident in Berlin, or who is usually resident there, is subject to full income tax. Generally speaking: Whether you must pay taxes in both your place of residence and in the country where you work, depends on the applicable taxation law in that country. Speak to your local tax office or tax advisor to find out more.

Also worth noting: Similar conditions may apply for social security contributions. Whether an employee or self-employed - it is the place where you work that dictates your social security status. This also applies for mobile workplaces and thus digital nomads.

Support for Digital Nomads in Berlin

If you need some career support as a digital nomad in Berlin, you should seek out expert with a high degree of practical knowledge for advice! The “Make it in Germany” web portal is a good starting point. The regional business development program “Berlin Partner” can also help. Our colleagues at “Because Berlin” are also available to provide you in special cases with personal assistance. Take advantage of what they have to offer! We wish you lots of success.