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Applying for a change of tax brackets during marriage or civil partnership

The amount of income tax deducted from your salary depends on the tax class.
If you and your spouse or your life partner (hereinafter referred to as both: partner) do not live permanently apart, you can choose between the following tax class combinations:

  • IV/IV,
  • III/V or
  • Tax class IV with factor. Tax class IV with factor is also referred to as factor method.

In order to change your tax class, you must submit a joint application to your local tax office. This also applies to a new allocation of tax classes III and V.
For the change from tax class III/V to IV/IV, it is sufficient if only you or your partner submit the application.
For example, you can apply for a change of tax class in the following cases: You or your partner

  • no longer receive wages or
  • They start working again after unemployment.

You can also change the tax class several times a year.

If you and your partner live permanently apart, you must inform your local tax office so that the tax class is changed (I instead of III/V or IV/IV).

Since the law introducing the right to marry for persons of the same sex came into force on 1.10.2017, no new civil partnerships can be established in Germany. Since then, same-sex couples have been able to marry each other and are thus on an equal footing with opposite-sex couples.
Existing civil partnerships can be converted into marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Existing civil partnerships can be continued in their current form.

Process flow

If you and your partner would like to change your tax class, you can submit an application to your local tax office:

  • In the form management system of the Federal Finance Administration, select the appropriate application form in the "Tax forms" area under "Wage tax (employees)":
    • "Application for change of tax class"
    • "Application for income tax reduction"
  • Fill out the application form electronically or printed out by hand.
  • You and your partner must sign the application.
  • Send the application by post to your local tax office.
  • You will receive a notification.

Alternatively, you can also apply for a change of tax class online and barrier-free via ELSTER. ELSTER is barrier-free and platform-independent access to the electronic services of the tax administration.
For electronic authenticated transmission, you need a certificate. You will receive this after your registration on ELSTER. Please note that the registration process can take up to 2 weeks.

Who should I contact?

The responsibility lies with the tax office responsible for you.


The marriage or civil partnership is intact.

Which documents are required?

You do not have to submit any documents.

What are the fees?

There are no fees.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

A change of tax class becomes effective on the 1st of the month following the application.


There are no legal remedies at the stage of an application. In the event of a rejection of the requested tax class by the tax office, you can file an objection.


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Technically approved by

State Tax Office of Lower Saxony

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)