Another year has passed, and that means one thing – you have to file a German tax return. The very beginning of filling in the declaration is not a problem. Name, surname, date of birth, address. However, than it becomes more and more difficult: what is my tax number? What do you have to enter under the Steuer-Identifgikationsummer field? Don’t worry about it – if you’re having trouble filing your tax return, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we will answer the question “Where can I find my tax number and my tax identification number?”. We will also describe the differences between these identifiers, thanks to which you will save yourself the annual stress of submitting a tax return in Germany – welcome.
Firstly: a tax number and a tax identification number in Germany are not the same
The current German tax system is complicated. The vision of the tax office is clearly defined: everything must have a certain order and structure. While in theory it seems simple, as we know from experience – in practice it is often not so. You do not have to wait long for the effects of German tax law – each person receives the so-called tax identification number. But that’s not all – when the first money appears on the account of such a person, which will then have to be summarized in the tax return, a special tax number will also be issued.
It is good to know that a German tax identification number and a tax number are not the same. These identifiers are often used interchangeably and associated with each other – however, it is worth knowing that they differ from each other. What is a tax identification number and what is a tax number? You will find this out in the following paragraphs.
Tax identification number in Germany – what is it?
When filing an annual tax return in Germany, many people wonder what a tax identification number is. It is a unique 11-digit numeric identifier that is assigned to each taxpayer. Importantly, the tax identification number remains valid throughout life and does not change (it is the same regardless of marital status or place of residence).
The tax office is responsible for assigning the tax identification number, and the identifier itself is needed i.e. to work legally.
What else is worth knowing about the tax ID? First of all, it can appear under several names that mean the same thing. Among them, you can meet such terms as an identification number, tax identification number or Tax ID number.
Where can I find a German tax ID?
In 2008, the tax identification number was sent to each resident in the form of a letter from the tax office. The personal ID could be found at the top (right) of the letter. The tax identification number was bold, which made it easy to see.
As already mentioned, each citizen receives a unique ID right after birth. If you were born later and did not receive the letter in 2008, you will find your tax identification number on page 1 of the last tax return (in the upper left corner).
Are you making a tax return for the first time? Go to your local tax office in Germany. There you will receive information from the officials (remember to bring your ID card). You can also obtain the tax identification number online (on the Office’s website – https://www.bzst.de/), by e-mail ([email protected]) or by phone (the numbers can be found on the Office’s website).
How to get a tax identification number in Germany?
If you were not born in Germany and have not been issued with a tax identification number, you do not need to stress. Within two weeks of your registration at the Registration Office, the Central Tax Office should send your tax identification number to the address provided.
If you need to get a German tax ID faster, you can go to your local tax office 5 days after your registration. Officials should have access to the Central Tax Office system from where they will be able to read your personal tax identification number. When you go there, remember to take your passport with you.
What is a tax number in Germany?
The tax number has a slightly longer history than the tax identification number mentioned above. It is quite characteristic – it consists of 13 digits. It was implemented before 2008 and it can be said that it was the “predecessor” of the tax identification number. However, this does not mean that it has been replaced at this point – these two identifiers function parallel.
When is a tax number issued in Germany? For example, when you voluntarily submit a tax return. In this case, the German Tax Office will give you your ID, which indicates, which office is right for you.
Unlike the tax identification number, the tax number may be assigned several times over the years. It is not permanent (it changes, among others, in the event of a move, change of marital status or opening a company that is operating under a different tax number).
Where can I find my German tax number?
As we have already mentioned – the tax number is given at the time of submitting the tax return. As soon as the German Office receives your tax return, it should send you a letter containing information about your number. If for any reason you lost your letter, you don’t have to worry. The tax number is provided on every tax decision. You do not have documents at hand, and you need to enter it in the annual tax return? Contact the competent authority in Germany (by phone or e-mail).
And if you need help in finding a tax number or tax identification number, you can always contact us – our advisers will help you with all the formalities. Contact us today and do not stress about filing in a tax return in Germany – we invite you to contact us!