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What changes does marriage bring in terms of income tax class?

Marriage also changes your income tax class. After the marriage has been registered by the registration office, you and your spouse/partner will initially be automatically assigned tax class IV in the new electronic procedure ELStAM(ElektronischeLohnsSteuerAbzugsMerkmale). This means that you will be assigned tax class IV (and not III) even if your spouse is not employed. If you want tax class III to be taken into account, you must apply for this on the official form Application for tax class change for spouses/life partners at the tax office responsible for your place of residence. You can also submit the application electronically at "My Elster ". This requires a login/registration.


You may also be interested in: "Which tax classes exist".

Note on 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. Based on this data, the tax authorities provide employers with the income tax deduction details for electronic retrieval.

In principle, the tax offices are the point of contact when it comes to changing tax classes or other wage tax deduction features.

The municipalities are still responsible for the administration of registration data, e.g. marital status, marriage, birth, joining or leaving the church. This means that the tax authorities can only create the ELStAM correctly if you comply with your statutory reporting obligation and the municipalities can send the relevant data to the tax authorities. Further information on this topic can be found at

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