Taxes in Germany
What is my tax identification number?
When you register at the district office you are automatically assigned a German tax identification number (Steuer ID-Nummer). Your personal tax identification number will be sent to you by mail within about two weeks. The number is yours permanently and does not change, for example, if you move, if you legally change your name when you marry, or if you otherwise undergo a change in your civil status.
Do I have to pay taxes?
As a rule, if you have an employment contract, you must pay taxes. Your employer takes out your taxes from your gross monthly income, which it pays directly to the tax office. The amount of income tax you pay depends on the amount you earn, your family status, and your tax bracket.
To prevent you from being taxed in Germany and in your home country at the same time, Germany has double taxation agreements (Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen) with many countries. These agreements specify in which country you need to pay taxes.
Can I get the money back that I paid in taxes if I move away from Germany?
At the end of a calendar year, you can submit a tax return to the local tax office. You may receive a tax refund depending on certain circumstances. It might be helpful to find an accountant or an income tax support who can help you file your income tax return.