How to get your Tax Number and Tax ID Number – Germany
One more essential piece of the German puzzle – your Tax numbers! I hope you find this guide to understanding and getting your tax number and tax ID number interesting and helpful!
You will need to provide your tax number to your HR team when you start your job, so be sure to know what it is and where to get it.
Important terms to understand
Tax ID number – Tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer)
Also known as: Steueridentifikationsnummer, Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer, Persönliche Identificationsnummer, Identifikationsnummer, Steuer-IdNr., IdNr or SteuerID.
This 11-digit number is your permanent number and is recognized nationally. Every German gets this at birth, and it won’t ever change. You’ll get one too and it will stay the same wherever you go.
This 13-digit number is assigned to you based on where you’re living right now; if you get one in Berlin Friedrichshain but move to Hamburg, you’ll get a new one.
Wow, isn't this redundant?
The tax ID number was introduced in 2007 with the plan to replace the Tax Number. It’s not clear when this will happen. For now, in some cases you will need both numbers. Luckily you won’t need them too often!
Who needs my tax ID and tax number?
Your employer: Tax ID Number – needed to correctly process your payroll. Ideally you can have this information ready right away. However, it is possible to process payroll without it in the first month. You will be taxed at 42%, the maximum allowed. You can claim that money back on your tax return, though!
Your tax return: if it’s your first time filing taxes, you don’t need to include the number. You’ll get your number on the tax return when your annual return is complete.
Your bank: You’ll need to provide your Tax ID number to set up a bank account in Germany
Your university: Students need to show their Tax ID number to correctly assign financial aid and benefits.
How to get my Tax ID Number
You will get your Tax ID by mail around 2 weeks after registering your German address for the first time. You can get it faster by visiting your local Finanzamt, but they may not speak much English to help you and might inform you brusquely to wait for it by post.
If you’ve already gotten one but have lost it, and need a new copy, you can request it through this link.
How to get my Tax Number
This process is a little different. You don’t need it right away when you start working. You have two options to get your Steuernummer:
a) wait until you file your first tax return, and your number will be included with the documents you receive.
Don't put this off!
This is one of the most important first steps to getting settled in Germany – so don’t put it off! Make sure you inform your employer in good time about your tax ID number and keep a copy of the info somewhere safe and accessible.
If you have questions about this guide on how to get your tax ID and tax number in Germany, let us know! We’ll happily advise or point you in the right direction!