Tax classes assist the employer in the process of calculating the income tax of an employee. There are six tax classes in Germany. The tax office assigns a tax class to the employee. The tax class depends primarily on the person's family status, but also on how many jobs you have. Changes in personal circumstances (e.g. marriage, divorce or the death of the spouse) cause an amendment of your tax class.
Note: Couples can choose from three tax class combinations. The choice of the combination depends on their income. Please contact a tax consultant in case of further questions.
Below we've listed the six tax classes and who they're for. Particular cases may vary.
Which tax class is for whom?
|Tax class I|
|Tax class II|
|Tax class III|
Tax class III is reserved for the spouse / partner with the higher income. The other spouse / partner is assigned to tax class V.
|Tax class IV|
Both spouses can be assigned to tax class IV if they earn about the same amount.
|Tax class V|
Tax class V is reserved for the spouse / partner with the lower income. The other spouse / partner is assigned tax class III.
|Tax class VI|
For further information please contact the tax office which is responsible for your district. To find the responsible tax office, please enter your registered address in the authority finder (Behördenfinder, German only).
Changing tax classes
For changing your tax classes we have compiled the most important information for you here.
Married persons and registered partners can apply for a change of tax class at a local tax office.
To find the nearest tax office, simply enter your place of residence in the field and click on "Suche in der Nähe".
There must be an intact marriage or civil partnership in order to be able to choose between several tax class combinations. Permanent separation terminates the requirements.
Please note: If you choose combination tax class III and V or IV/IV with factor method then you must file an income tax return.
Form "Application for change of tax class for spouses/life partners" with tax identification number and signature of both spouses/life partners. To help you, you can download the form in English translation.
In case of marriage abroad : presentation of foreign marriage certificate required
The application will be implemented immediately after receipt by the relevant tax office. A change of tax class becomes effective on the 1st of the month following the application.