How to Change Tax Class in Germany

How to Change Tax Class in GERMANY?

If you are married and your spouse lives in Germany, then you can choose different tax classes and reap benefits. This way, you can optimize your tax return.

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As soon you are registered in Germany, Your registration office will automatically forward your status change to the Finanzamt in Germany.
If you are married, By Default, the Finanzamt will change both of your Tax classes to IV.
If you are not married, By Default, the Finanzamt will assign the Tax class I.

The default tax class for married couples is Class 4 but you can benefit from being assigned Class 3&5. If one spouse earns significantly higher than the other, it is understood that they are bearing most of the household costs – hence getting a tax rebate for this reason. If you are in this situation, you can move to Tax Class 3 and receive more net salary than being in Class 4.  

When one spouse chooses to be in Class 3, the lower earner is automatically assigned Tax Class 5. This situation is the most beneficial when one spouse earns atleast 60% of the total income of the household.  

Read this article to understand the TAX CLASSES IN GERMANY before planning to shift your Tax class.

Once you are married, you can take advantage of the classes 3&5. You can change from Class 1 or 4 to 3&5 by doing the following:  

  1. Go to the Finanzamt and get a form called “Antrag auf Steuerklassenwechsel bei Ehegatten”. 
  2. You can also download it, fill and submit the form online. Don’t forget that both partners need to sign this form.  

 You can change your tax class only once a year. 

Reasons to change Tax Class

  • You or your partner is not employed anymore (self employed, retired, unemployed or in parental leave) 
  • You or your partner are employed again 
  • Partner passes away 
  • Divorce or separation 

The above reasons are however exceptions to the “once a year” rule to change tax class. You can change your tax class more often if any of the above conditions are met.  

How To Fill the Antrag Auf Steuerklassenwechsel Bei Ehegatten

We will show you the step by step process to change the tax class in Germany.

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 Line 1: Steuernummer – Steuernummer, this is different from the Steuer ID. Steuer ID will be sent to you, once you do the local registration after reaching Germany. Understand the difference between STEUER ID vs STEUERNUMMER (see this article). Steuernummer will be assigned by the respective TAX Office. When you shift your location from one place to other place, your TAX Number will change, but your TAX ID remains always the same.  If you have already filed a tax declaration before, you can find it on your last tax assessment (Steuerbescheid). Otherwise, leave it empty. 

Line 2: An das Finanzamt – Enter the TAX Office details, where you will be sending your application. 

Line 3: Bei Wohnsitzwechsel: bisheriges Finanzamt – in case if you moved from one place to other place, name your previous tax office. 

Married couples have two options when choosing the tax category:
A) By Default, one will be put in the Tax category IV/IV.
B) One can choose either the combination tax category III / V or else V / III

Zahnzusatzversicherung von Ottonova


Here basically, one need to enter the Spouse details. 

Line 5– Steuer ID of the SPOUSE which is sent to your house by post fter registration, incase if you haven’t received them fill the form below and wait for 2 weeks. 

Line 6- Name: Last name 

Line 7Vorname: Firstname 

Line 8- Strasse, Hausnummer: Your address 

Line 9- Postleitzahl: Postal Code | Wohnort: City 

Line 10- Verheiratet/Verpartnert seit – married since 
Verwitwet seit – widowed since 
Geschieden seit – divorced since 
Dauernd getrennt lebend seit – permanently separated since 

Line 11- Identifikationsnummer (IdNr.) – Tax ID of the other spouse.

Lines 12-13- Personal details and address of the other spouse. 

Lines 14-15- You don’t need to fill in 14 or 15 if you live at the same address. 

Important to note - the 'Tax Category' has NO influence on the final amount of income taxes you have to pay in Germany!

It only affects the amount of your monthly pre-payment - deducted directly from your salary by your employer.

Once you have prepared your tax declaration the following year you will get an reimbursement from or you will have to pay an additional instalment to the tax authorities - this depends on your total pre-payments so also (indirectly) on your 'Tax Category'. But the final amount will always be the same!

Looking for a English speakingTax Consultant who can help in shifting your Tax class?



Line 17- Bisherige SteuerklassenkombinationEnter the tax classes, you were before. since you are newly married you would be automatically assigned to the  tax class combination ”IV/IV“ . so check the box to the left of “IV/IV

Line 18-Wir beantragen die Steuerklassenkombinationchoose the right Tax class combination according to your income. we request the tax class combination (partner filing the request / other spouse), The first number corresponds to the person in lines 4 to 10, and the second number corresponds to the second part of the table (lines 11-15). check the box to the left of “III/V” or “V/III” depending on which spouse has the higher income. 

Line 19-Tick the box, if you want your tax class to be changed immediately or  retroactively since the day of the wedding.

Leave Part C Blank. – This is not required to be filled and this is basically about the state pension program. 

Zahnzusatzversicherung von Ottonova

Make sure, both the people need sign and date in box 43 and you’re done! 

Partner filling the request signs left hand corner. 

Looking for a English speakingTax Consultant who can help in shifting your Tax class?

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VANAKKAM GERMANY is not qualified to provide tax advice under German law. We can provide general Infos for you.
For tax related queries, we strongly recommend you consult a professional tax consultant.

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