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Under what conditions do I receive tax class II or the tax relief amount for single parents?

Tax class II applies to single and divorced employees as well as to married employees whose spouse/partner lives abroad or who live permanently separated from their spouse/partner if they are entitled to the relief amount for single parents.

In order to qualify for the relief amount for single parents, the employee must be single and have at least one child in their household for whom they receive child benefit or a child allowance. Furthermore, the child must be registered with the employee as their main or secondary residence. The relief amount for single parents is not granted if the employee lives in a marriage-like partnership or in a registered civil partnership. The same applies if the single parent shares a household with another adult for whom no child benefit or child allowance is due.

For each full calendar month in which the requirements for the relief amount for single parents are not met, the employee is not entitled to tax class II.

The tax office may only create tax class II as ELStAM(electronicwage tax deduction characteristics) if the requirements for taking the EfA into account are met. To apply, the employee can use the form Application for income tax reduction 2024 (main form and annex for children), which is available electronically at link for registered users). If the conditions for tax class II no longer apply, the responsible tax office must be informed.

The tax relief amount for single parents with one child is 4,260 euros. It is included in tax class II. In addition, an allowance of 240 euros per calendar year can be claimed for each additional child. This requires an application for income tax reduction 2024 (main form and children's annex) stating the tax identification number of the child/children.

The tax relief amount for single parents can also be taken into account pro rata temporis in the year of marriage, separation, resumption of cohabitation or death of the spouse/partner. If a single parent (widowed/permanently separated) with tax class III/IV or V meets the above-mentioned requirements for the relief amount for single parents, the relief amount will be calculated by the tax office as a tax-free amount upon application and formed as ELStAM.


The characteristics relevant for the wage tax deduction procedure, such as tax class, factor if applicable, number of child allowances, other allowances, but also the church tax characteristic, are stored by the tax authorities for all employees in a central database. The tax authorities use this data to provide employers with the income tax deduction details for electronic retrieval. Further information on this can be found at

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