Bundeszentralamt für Steuern

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Tax Identification Number

The identification number

The identification number (IdNo) concerns an eleven-digit number, and does not contain any information about the person concerned. It is permanently valid and does not change, for example, if you move house, change your name or change your marital status.

How do I get my IdNo

Have you not received your IdNo yet or cannot find it?


The Elster Online Portal contains information about the electronic wage tax deduction information (ELStAM).

You can usually find your IdNo in the following documents:

  • in your income tax assessment,
  • on your employment tax statement or
  • in the informational letter from the federal central tax office. This letter was sent to you by your tax office in October or November 2011 to inform you about the stored electronic wage tax deduction information (ELStAM).

If you cannot find your IdNo in the documents mentioned above, you have the option of requesting it using the Federal Central Tax Office input form or by letter. Please understand that the IdNo can only be communicated to you through the mail for data protection reasons. The IdNo can be sent to an address that does not correspond to your registered address only with your written letter of authority (by letter and with a copy of a valid personal ID).

You can also submit your income tax return to your tax office without an IdNo. Your tax office is aware of this fact.

The IdNo is permanently assigned to a person. The Federal Central Tax Office can only notify you of the IdNo you were already assigned.



This identification number is assigned for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person in administrative proceedings. For example, the identification number enables the tax administration to provide services, such as a pre-filled tax return form provided on an electronic basis, or the automated processing of electronic receipts.

The use of this and any data stored to this end are subject to purpose limitation in accordance with Section 139b of the German Fiscal Code (AO). Improper use constitutes an administrative offence for which a fine may be imposed.

The data remains stored in the database until it is no longer required for the fulfilment of the underlying legal tasks. This will be deleted no later than 20 years after the end of the calendar year in which the person concerned died.

The BZSt stores the following data for the identification number of a natural person in accordance with Section 139b (3) German Fiscal Code (AO):                                    

  • Identification number
  • Business identification numbers
  • Last name
  • Former names
  • First name
  • Doctoral degree
  • Date and place of birth
  • Gender
  • Current or last known address
  • Competent tax authorities
  • Information blocks according to the Federal Registration Act (Bundesmeldegesetz)
  • Date of death
  • Day of move in/move out
  • Nationality
  • Date of last administrative contact (month, year)

 In addition, the BZSt stores the IBAN (and in the case of foreign credit institutions, also the BIC) of a natural person in accordance with Section 139b (10) German Fiscal Code (AO), in order to enable the non-cash payment of benefits from public funds, Section 139b (3a) German Fiscal Code (AO). More information can be found at https://www.bzst.de/DE/Privatpersonen/IBAN/IBAN_node.html.

For the purpose of providing employers with automatically retrievable wage tax deduction data, the BZSt also stores additional reporting data for each taxpayer in accordance with Section 39e (2) of the Income Tax Act (EStG). This concerns reporting data:

  • pertaining to religious affiliation
  • pertaining to a person’s marital status under registration law; in the case of married or partnered taxpayers, the identification number of the spouse / partner is also stored
  • pertaining to the identification numbers of minors, provided they are registered in the same municipality as the taxpayer.