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When do I get tax class III?

Tax class III applies to married/partnered employees upon application if both spouses/life partners reside in Germany, do not live permanently separated and the employee's spouse/life partner does not receive wages or receives wages and is placed in tax class V. Widowed employees only belong to tax class III for the calendar year 2022 if the spouse/life partner died after 31 December 2020, both spouses/life partners lived in Germany on the date of death and did not live permanently separated.


In the event of marriage, you and your spouse will initially be automatically assigned tax class IV in the new electronic ELStAM (Elektronische LohnSteuerAbzugsMerkmale) procedure. Consequently, you will also receive tax class IV (and not III) if your spouse is not in an employment relationship. If you want tax class III to be taken into account, you must apply for this on the official form Antrag auf Steuerklassenwechsel bei Ehegatten/Lebenspartnern (Application for change of tax class for spouses/partners).


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