Bundeszentralamt für Steuern

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EU und International


The Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) is responsible for the tasks related to the Register of Charity Organisations, Parties, Voters’ Associations and Public Bodies (so called ‘Charity Register’) according to § 60b - new – of the German Fiscal Code (AO).

The purpose of the Charity Register

The Charity Register will contain organisations, which are charitable by the Fiscal Code. The Charity Register is also required for the digitalization of the funding verification process regarding the deduction of special expenses. It is a starting point for applications, with which in future donation receipts can be handled digitally by organisations, donors and tax administration. Therefore it is a component for the prefilled tax return where the obligation to retain receipts does not apply, because the donation receipt in paper won’t be obligatory for the tax reduction.

Currently there is no public, overall unified and legally compliant overview for citizens, companies and institutions, where all corporations, which are tax exempt because of the promotion of non-profit, charitable or ecclesiastical purposes as defined in Section 5 (1) No. 9 of the Corporation Tax Act (KStG), or other tax-privileged organisations as defined in Section 10b and 34g of the German Income Tax Act (EstG) are included.

The Charity Register supports volunteers in their advertising for funds and commitment. It is a simple and straightforward way to obtain information on the non-profit status of organisations. It also creates legal certainty and transparency and helps citizens and institutional donors to identify the organisations to which they would like to make a concrete financial donation or personnel commitment.

The name of the Charity Register includes all organisations that are permitted to file donation receipts for their donors. These include, in particular, the following:

  • non-profit corporations as defined in Section 5 (1) No. 9 of the Corporation Tax Act,
  • legal entities under public law that pursue tax-privileged purposes,
  • political parties and voters’ associations as defined in Section 34g of the Income Tax Act (EStG).

In the Charity Register the name of the organisation, the adress, the tax-privileged purposes according to the Fiscal Code and the date of the last certificate of exemption or determination notice are displayed. The Register will be published on the website of the Federal Central Tax Office and has from its start a user friendly search option to look for example for a certain non-profit purpose or region.

The data on domestic organisations is transmitted successively automated to the BZSt by the competent tax authorities of the Länder. Therefore it is not possible to show all entitled organisations for the Charity Register from the start. Entitled organisations or individual data missing could be possible in the development phase, but it neither influences the non-profit status assessed by the domestic competent tax authorities, nor the status as an eligible organisation of the Charity Register.

In later versions all recorded organisations will get the opportunity to voluntarily enter bank details for donation accounts or their internet adress to the Charity Register.
Foreign organisations from other EU/EEA countries can submit an application for inclusion in the register. The Federal Central Tax office checks, whether the applicant organisation is entitled to issue donation receipts under the German Fiscal Code. If the application is granted, the foreign organisation will then be included in the Charity Register and may then issue a donation receipt for its donors from Germany in accordance with the German law, which is then also recognized by the German tax offices for the tax deduction of the donors in accordance with Section 10b of the German Income Tax Act.

A centralised check on the recognition of foreign non-profit organisations from other EU/EEA countries by the BZSt ensures uniform application of law throughout Germany while avoiding divergent decisions by individual tax offices. So far, this assessment had to be done by the local tax authority, which is competent for the donor.
The Charity Register helps citizens, companies and institutional funding providers to find the organisations that are rightfully allowed to issue donation receipts. The Charity Register also protects against donations to unauthorized organisations. In addition, the Federal Central Tax Office will in future compare the federal and state reports on the protection of the constitution with the organisations stored in the Charity Register and notify the relevant local tax authority of the results of the check. The local tax authority decides on the withdrawal of non-profit status (Section 51 (3) of the German Fiscal Code). The legally binding decision is automatically entered in the Charity Register.

Procedure for implementation and realisation of the Charity Register

In the first step, the data of the domestic organisations is transmitted from the competent local tax authorities to the BZSt and subsequently published in the Charity Register.
In the second step, foreign organisations from other EU/EEA countries will be added, which applied for inclusion in the Charity Register for foreign non-profit organisations to the BZSt by electronic means and the BZSt has complied with in its own responsibility.

In later versions all recorded organisations will get the opportunity to voluntarily enter bank details for donation accounts or their internet adress to the Charity Register.

All forms in the Charity Register must be submitted to the Germany´s Federal Central Tax Office by electronic means. A certificate is required to log in to the BZSt online.portal. Already existing certificates for the BZStOnline-portal or the ElsterOnline-portal can be used to log in. If there is no existing certificate yet, the BZSt recommends for domestic organisations and their authorised representatives to obtain the certificate through registering to "My Elster" (Mein Elster). For foreign organisations from other EU/EEA countries and their representatives without headquarters in Germany, the BOP is available from December 2023 for registration.


Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office)

Ludwig-Karl-Balzer-Allee 2
66740 Saarlouis

Fax: +49 228 406-3801


Tax-privileged purposes