Tax Classes

Symbolic image: Tax Classes in Hamburg, Germany / Mohd Hafizan bin Ilias / Shutterstock.com

Tax Classes

As an employee, you have to pay wage tax. The amount of wage tax depends on your wage and your tax class. Learn more about tax classes.

Tax Classes

Tax classes assist the employer in the process of calculating the wage 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                           
  • Singles
  • Unmarried couples
  • Married persons with limited tax liability
  • Permanently separated spouses (also when the spouse doesn’t live in Germany)
  • Divorcees
  • Pensioners
Tax class II
  • Single parents
Tax class III
  • Married couples
  • Registered partners
Conditions:
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
  • Married couples
  • Registered partners
Conditions:
Both spouses can be assigned to tax class IV if they earn about the same amount.
Tax class V
  • Married couples
  • Registered partners
Conditions:
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
  • Single and married persons who have a second job or more

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).

Tax Classes