Croats Getting Married En Masse to Pay Lower Taxes in Germany

By 21 August 2018

Ingenuity when it comes to avoiding paying taxes is endless.

Just like in the old times, when church weddings were followed by the civilian ones in front of the town registrars, the Small Council Room of the Town of Đakovo witnessed a procession of weddings last Saturday afternoon. It almost seemed like a kind of wedding factory. Unfortunately, the reason was not an unexpected success of government’s demographic measures, but something completely different, reports Glas Slavonije on August 21, 2018.

Starting at 6 pm, the venue witnessed four weddings (without a funeral), which has not happened in Đakovo for years. All the wedding parties included young couples from Đakovo and the surrounding areas which have decided to look for new (and better paid) jobs abroad, mostly in Germany and Ireland. They returned to their homeland just to get married. Large official wedding celebrations with a religious ceremony will follow later.

According to the newlyweds, the life abroad, especially in Germany, is quite expensive if you are an unmarried person, when it comes to paying taxes and other obligations. That is the reason why many couples return home, to Croatia, to formally get married and in that way lower taxes and other levies which they have to pay. When you are starting a new life abroad, every euro is important. Based on the experiences of others, some couples marry even before they move to Germany.

“If you leave as a couple, but without getting married, you belong to what they call ‘the first tax group’ in Germany, which means that a lot of taxes will be deducted from your salary. That is the reason why our son and his then-girlfriend, and now wife, decided in just one week to get married before they left for Germany. They have only done the civilian wedding, in order to make it officially valid,” says a woman from a village around Đakovo, whose son organised the “express wedding” last year.

“In addition to the bride and the groom, the wedding party included just us parents and the best man and the maid of honour. “By becoming husband and wife, they immediately entered the second tax group in Germany, which means significantly lower taxes. The son says that the difference for his salary is between 400 and 500 euro. If he remained single, his salary would be around 1,100 euro, and now is around 1,580 euro,” says the mother.

The young couple lives in the vicinity of Pforzheim in Germany. “Initially, it was not easy to start living and working in a new country, but in the meantime, things started to improve and they are now both very happy,” said the mother.

The town registrar performed one such wedding over the workweek as well, but the last Saturday with four weddings was a record-breaking one, which is probably of a consequence of people returning to Croatia for holidays.

The couple from Phorzheim plans a church wedding for next year, with three hundred guests. Let’s just hope that the money saved by paying lower taxes will be enough to pay for the wedding festivities.

Translated from Glas Slavonije (reported by Suzana Župan).