Kindergeld , Elterngeld, Bafög, Arbeitslosengeld

If you received financial government assistance, the proper authorities must be informed of a change of address or an ending of service.

Pension Funds

Those who have made contributions to a pension fund (state and/or private) should inquire about transferring benefits or getting a refund as well as provide a forwarding address. EU citizens can normally transfer benefits between countries — but they cannot get a refund.


Taxes are very complicated, especially when considering double taxation agreements with some countries. Before departing, check that the extent of any remaining tax liability is clear by either consulting a tax advisor or visiting the local tax office (Finanzamt).

Depending on your circumstances and the extent of your stay in Germany, you may want to (have to) file a tax return. It may take the tax office several months to confirm whether any refunds or additional payments are due.

Bank account

You will want to keep your bank account active for a few months after your departure to be sure that final bills can be paid and deposits returned.

Be sure to cancel any standing orders (Daueraufträge) or specify until which date they are valid. If you have any direct debit authorizations (Einzugsermächtigungen) for your utilities (Electricity, Heating, Water), be sure to cancel these.

Ask at your bank ahead of time what is required to close your account. In some cases, there will be a fee, especially if you want to transfer the final balance to an account in another country.

If different from you bank, inform your credit card of an address change or cancel the card in writing.

If you have other financial products at the bank (mortgage, certificates of deposit etc.), you will need to discuss how best to proceed with a financial advisor at the bank.

Depending on your circumstances, it may be helpful to provide power of attorney over your bank account to someone in Germany — of course only to someone you trust completely!