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Tax identification number

Purpose of the identification number

All individuals receive an 11-digit identification number to ensure their unique identification within the tax system. The number will not change if you move home or marry. It will remain with you for the whole of your life. It does not contain any information about you or the tax office responsible for your tax affairs. Introduction of the number will allow for an improved and more efficient use of electronic data-processing.

 
Allocation to children

Please be aware that identification numbers are also allocated to children. This is necessary because liability for tax can begin at birth.

 
Use of the identification number

The identification number will replace the tax number in income tax matters. The identification number must be used on all applications, declarations and communications directed to the German revenue authorities concerning income tax.
To make things easier, for the time being, please additionally quote your existing tax number. For other taxes (e.g. VAT, motor vehicle tax, inheritance and gift tax, real property transfer tax) please continue to use only your existing tax numbers.

Our latest printed and online forms (for example, in connection with the electronic tax return (ELSTER)) will keep you updated on further developments in the introduction and use of the identification number in the tax system.

Please allow for the fact that the tax office responsible for your affairs will not immediately be able to identify you in all matters simply on the basis of your identification number. For a transitional period, your identification number will need to be used in parallel with your tax number.

 
Pensioners

If you are in receipt of a state pension, private annuity or other benefits, your identification number will be used in communicating the notice of pension payments (section 22a of the Income Tax Act (Einkommensteuergesetz, EStG)).

The pensions are paid by the pension fund. The Federal Central Tax Office doesn’t have any information about who receives pension payments.
The Renten Service Ausland provides more information about how to communicate changes in regard to pension payments and the adequate forms (in German: Änderungsmitteilungen) on the website www.rentenservice.de.

The competent authority for taxation of pensions paid to individuals resident abroad is the tax office in Neubrandenburg. For further information about your obligation to file an income tax return please contact the tax office Neubrandenburg directly: www.finanzamt-rente-im-ausland.de.


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© Bundeszentralamt für Steuern - 2015