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When is the tax-free allowance for children available?

Because parents are not as capable as those without children of raising, caring for and educating their children, they receive tax relief either in the form of child benefit or tax allowances.

Parents receive monthly child benefit during the calendar year. After you have submitted your income tax return, the tax office will check whether the tax-free allowances for children have a more favorable effect on you when calculating your taxes. Allowances for children are the child allowance of 3,192 euros for 2024 (2021: 2,730 euros, 2022: 2,810 euros, 2023: 3.012 euros and the allowance for care and education or training needs of 1,464 euros (from 2021). The amounts are doubled for spouses who are jointly assessed for income tax.

These allowances are not taken into account when calculating income tax. However, they do affect the amount of the solidarity surcharge and church tax. So that the employer can calculate these deductions correctly, the number of child allowances is created as electronic wage tax deduction characteristics (ELStAM).

As a result, this means that taking a child allowance into account in the income tax assessment must result in a higher tax relief for the taxpayer due to the amount of taxable income than was previously achieved through child benefit. If this is the case, the child allowance and the allowance for care and upbringing or education are deducted and the income tax is increased by the entitlement to child benefit.

Note: In the case of separated persons, divorced persons and parents of illegitimate children, the child allowance is generally divided in half.

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