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How do I claim a child allowance?

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

If a child allowance is to be created in the ELStAM when a child is born who is not registered with you, you must apply for this once. To do this, use the form "Antrag auf Lohnsteuer-Ermäßigung" (application for income tax reduction ) (main form and children's annex). You can also submit the application electronically at

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

No application is necessary for the check in the context 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 the child allowance is more favourable for you than the child benefit. The tax assessment notice will contain a note to this effect.


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