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How do I apply for a child allowance?

Children under the age of 18 are automatically taken into account in tax classes I to IV as electronic wage tax deduction features (ELStAM) if they are registered in your home.

If you want a child allowance to be created in the ELStAM for the birth of a child who is not registered with you, you must apply for this once. To do this, use the form Application for income tax reduction. You can also submit the application electronically at, provided you are registered with My ELSTER.

For calendar years in which children are over 18 years old, you will only receive child allowances as ELStAM on application and if the relevant requirements are met. To do this, use the form Application for income tax reduction (main form and children's annex).

No application is necessary for the check as part of the income tax return. When you submit your income tax return, your tax office will check ex officio for each of your children whether it is more advantageous for you to apply the child allowance than the child benefit. The tax assessment notice contains a corresponding explanation.

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