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

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

To qualify for the EfA, the employee must be single and have at least one child in his or her household for whom he or she receives child benefit or a child allowance. Furthermore, the child must be registered with him or her as a primary or secondary resident. The EfA 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 person of full age for whom he or she is not entitled to child benefit or child allowance.

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

The tax office may only create tax class II as ELStAM(Elektronische LohnSteuerAbzugsMerkmale-electronic wage taxdeductiondata) if the conditions for taking the EfA into account are met. To apply, the employee can use the form Antrag auf Lohnsteuer-Ermäßigung 2023(Hauptvordruck und Anlage Kinder), which is available electronically at link for registered users). If the requirements for tax class II cease to apply, the responsible tax office must be informed.

The relief amount for single parents with one child is 4,260 euros (2022: 4,008 euros). It is incorporated into 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 2023 (main form and children's annex), stating the tax identification number of the child/children.

The 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/life 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 determined as an allowance by the tax office upon application and formed as ELStAM.


The characteristics that are decisive 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. Based on this data, the tax authorities make the wage tax deduction characteristics available to employers for electronic retrieval. For more information, please visit


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