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How to get a tax id ?

How to get a tax id?

Living and working in Germany will need a tax ID and it is crucial to understand the process of how to get a tax id. Germany uses many different tax identification numbers. There is the tax ID which is called  Steuer-ID, the tax number which is called Steuernummer, and the VAT number which is called Umsatzsteuer-ID. These numbers are issued by the Federal Central Tax Office to everyone registered in Germany in order to administer taxes. At first, we have to know about these numbers:

How to get tax ID in Germany
How to get a tax ID in Germany


The Steuernummer is a document issued by the local tax authority office, Finanzamt. In this document, personal situations and characteristics, for example, marital status, number of kids, or religion are listed. It holds a person’s profile as a taxpayer and it is linked with a tax number. This is a very important document that is confidential and should only be given to an employer. If a person is moving to a different city or city district or changing from employee to self-employed, this number can change.

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The Steuer-ID

The Steueridentifikationsnummer is a unique, permanent tax identification number. This number is used by The tax office, Finanzamt to identify a person. It has the format “12 345 678 901”. This is permanent. It is also known as Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer or Steuer-ID. An employer needs a tax Id to calculate income tax. If a worker does not have a tax Id, the employer would take more income tax from that worker’s salary. If one has a child, he needs a tax ID to apply for child benefits which are called Kindergeld.

Who Can get Steuer-ID?

A unique Tax Identification Number is issued to every person whose registered address is in a civil registry in Germany. A person who is not registered but is required to pay taxes in Germany is also issued a Tax Identification Number. Persons who are being registered domicile or habitual in Germany, such as children, are also issued with a unique Tax Identification Number. This is necessary in case of receiving child benefits or in cases where children receive investment income from inherited asset capital. It is important to note that the Tax Identification Number is specific to tax relations only. It is not a Personal Identification Number.

VAT number (Umsatzsteuer-Id)

The VAT number which is called Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer, or USt-IdNr, is a number that is used to identify a person when he makes VAT payments to the Finanzamt.Someone can request a VAT number by filling the Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung.

How to get a tax Id in Germany

Tax ID will automatically be issued after registering(Anmeldung) in Germany for the first time. Everyone who is planning on working or studying in Germany for more than three months needs to register their address at their local citizens’ office, Bürgeramt within 14 days of arrival. A letter from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern will be sent to the newly registered address. One can get it faster by going to the local Finanzamt and asking for it. Tax Id can be found on the following documents:

  1. On the  Income-tax assessment, Einkommensteuerbescheid
  2. On the employment tax statement/ payslips, Gehaltsabrechnung
  3. On Entgeltabrechnung

If one has lost his Tax Identification Number, he can request it again from Bundeszentralamt für Steuern. The processing time is up to 4 weeks and in certain cases up to 10 weeks.

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