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  • Jörn Kamphuis

How To: Get A German Tax Card "Lohnsteuerkarte" in Berlin


You want to work in Germany? Find out how to get a German tax card, called Lohnsteuerkarte and your Tax ID Number before starting your first job in Berlin.

What is the Lohnsteuerkarte?

The "Lohnsteuerkarte", your German Tax Card including your Tax ID, is an official document, issued by the German government that you will need for every job. It holds your personal data such as your religion, number of children and marital status.

This profile is linked to your tax number and should be given only to your employer.

What is a Tax ID (Steuer-ID)?

The Steuer-ID (also called IdNR, Steuer-IdNR or Steueridentifikationsnummer) is a unique 11-digit identification number issued by the German taxation office that will never change once you have obtained it.

If you don't receive this number, you will be taxed at the maximum rate and will have to claim a tax back in the future.

Who needs to know my Tax ID?

The Lohnsteuerkarte should be given to your employer so that the right tax amount is deducted from your monthly wage.

By having the Lohnsteuerkarte, your employer can communicate with tax services to know how much tax he will transfer to them. Your yearly tax statement will then be used to get you money back through Steuererklärung (tax return), in case you paid to much.

(more info on how to do your Steuererklärung)

Health insurances, pension funds and other employment services may also ask for your Tax ID.

Why is it important to obtain a Tax ID?

Your Tax ID will help you if you want to start a new job, change jobs or request a tax return.

If you like to know more, visit the German tax office website here

How and where can I apply for my Tax ID?

You need to apply for a tax ID at your local Bürgeramt when doing the Anmeldung (residence registration process)

To save time on your Anmeldung process you use our service here

If you have registered your residency you will have received a document that proofs your Anmeldung as well as an identification number (Identifikationsnummer). You will need those two to get a German tax card.

There are two options to get it: You either go to Bürgeramt or to Finanzamt (German for tax office)

For more info regarding Anmeldung read Anmeldung: How To Register in Berlin?

Note: Receiving your Tax ID per post after doing the Anmeldung can take 2-3 weeks.

Find your nearest Finanzamt here

Find your nearest Bürgeramt here

What if I don't apply for a tax ID?

It is illegal to work in paid employment and not paying income tax. Your employer must deduct the right amount of tax from your wage and forward it to the German tax office.

When will I receive my tax ID?

After you have done your Anmeldung at Bürgeramt you will receive your tax ID within 2-3 weeks. It will be sent automatically to your registered German address.

What is my tax bracket and how much income tax do I have to pay?

Click Here to calculate how much income tax you have to pay.

The following list shows you the German income tax rate you pay as a single person:

  • Until 8,004 €/year - not taxed

  • From 8,005 € until 52 882 €/year - tax-level between 14 % to 42 %

  • From 52,882 €/year - 42 %

  • From 250,731 €/year - 45 %

Find your nearest Finanzamt here

Find your nearest Bürgeramt here

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