First things first, let's provide a little bit of background to my question:

3 Years ago I moved to Germany, where I pay my taxes. Since the first year I didn't understand very much about this topic, I decided to turn to a "Verein" that managed my tax-declaration.
During the first year I had a lot of contact with the guy working there, therefore I simply asked how could I pay and he gave me an invoice, which I paid.

The second year I no longer needed the "Verein" services and I simply did not ask the guy to submit my tax declaration. Absolutely no communications were sent from both sides.

During the third year I received an invoice from the "Verein", stating that I had to pay the sum due for the second year, plus a fine, because I didn't pay them before (how was I supposed to? They didn't send me anything - and the payment is based on people's income). Since I was not willing to have arguments, I paid and asked to terminate what I found out to be our contract right at that moment.

The woman I spoke to, told me that it would not have been possible before the end of the third year, and since it already started, and I needed to honor my part of the contract and pay for that year too.

There is more than one problem with this contract, I don't have any copy, and I am quite positive that if I did receive the invoice on time (2nd year), I would have understood that I was under a binding obligation, and therefore would have asked to terminate the contract as well before having to pay for another year.

Am I under any obligation to honor that payment, provided that I never received their invoice for the second year within an acceptable timing?

1 Answer 1


It's hard to say what you are obliged to if you cannot check the contract. All I can say is that, in Germany, contracts that are automatically renewed each year unless you cancel them on time do exist and they are legal.

As far as the damages for delayed payment are concerned, you can usually only impose them after a reminder. That has exceptions too, so, again, being able to check your contract would be helpful.

  • I get that, but it's not the point. If I don't receive a bill, how am I supposed to pay? And if I received one (which I didn't), I would have canceled my contract, because I'd have remembered. Nov 17, 2016 at 8:25
  • If your contract (hypthetically) says that a) It will be renewed yearly unless you cancel it at the end of the year and b) you have the obligation to pay your yearly fee - let's say - until end of January, that is enough to create an obligation for you to pay. You have to pay because your contract says so, not because you receive an invoice. Of course you can always ask for an invoice, for example if you would need it for tax returns.
    – Sefe
    Nov 17, 2016 at 9:01

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