Change in the church tax deduction upon joining a church
If you join or rejoin a tax-collecting religious community, you must pay church tax according to the church tax laws of the federal states, namely as a surcharge on income tax or wage tax (Wage Church Tax). The employer must therefore not only withhold...
If you join or rejoin a tax-collecting religious community, you must pay church tax according to the church tax laws of the federal states, namely as a surcharge on income tax or wage tax (Wage Church Tax). The employer must therefore not only withhold wage tax from the wages of the employee with every wage payment, but also regularly withhold church tax and pay it to the tax office. The corresponding procedure for deducting the wage church tax is largely automated. As a rule, you do not have to do anything else once you have declared your entry in order to meet your church tax obligations.
The religious communities themselves regulate how and at which point entry into the church is to be declared. The church affiliation is registered with the registration authorities of the federal states and can only be changed by them. The tax authorities have no influence on this. This is important, for example, if the authorities have incorrect data.
The registration authorities inform the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) of changes in church affiliation and the corresponding date. The BZSt stores the electronic wage tax deduction features (ELStAM) in a database. The stored data also includes characteristics for the church tax deduction. The BZSt makes the ELStAM available to the employer for free automated retrieval. The ELStAM are decisive for the withholding of church tax in the tax deduction procedure by the employer, i.e. the employer is bound by them and does not have to check the question of church tax liability.