Apply for a change in tax class when entering into a marriage
Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Sie wollen die bei Heirat automatisch erteilte Steuerklassenkombination IV/IV nicht beibehalten? Dann können Sie und Ihre Ehefrau oder Ihr Ehemann bei Ihrem zuständigen Wohnsitzfinanzamt einen Antrag auf Steuerklassenänderung stellen.
Spouses who are both subject to unlimited income tax and who do not live permanently apart are automatically classified in tax class IV at the time of marriage, even if only one spouse receives wages.

If you and your spouse meet the requirements for tax class IV, you can also apply for tax class III for one spouse and tax class V for the other.

You and your spouse can also choose the tax class combination IV / IV with a factor.
(see further information)

If your employer and / or the employer of your spouse is not to be informed of the changed marital status, you and / or your spouse can apply to your responsible tax office for a less favorable tax bracket to be taken into account. This would be tax class I.
There is also the possibility that you and / or your spouse can block your employer from accessing the electronic income tax deduction features (ELStAM).

You and / or your spouse must apply to your responsible tax office to block the employer access (see further information).

If you have the access blocked for your employer, your employer is obliged to tax your wages according to tax class VI.

A notice:
Since the law introducing the right to marry for persons of the same sex came into force on October 1, 2017, no new civil partnerships can be established in Germany.

Same-sex couples have been able to marry each other since then and are therefore treated as equal to different-sex couples.

Existing civil partnerships can be converted into a marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Already existing civil partnerships can be continued in their previous form.
Form 'Application for tax class change for spouses' with tax identification number and signature of both spouses (see links)

If the marriage is concluded in Germany, there is no need to submit any further documents.

The properly issued foreign marriage certificate serves as proof of a marriage concluded abroad. At the registry office of your place of residence you can apply for the marriage to be subsequently notarized in the German marriage register (see link).
There is no obligation to re-notarise. However, the entry in the German marriage register can be advantageous because the local registry office can issue a marriage certificate. The registry office checks the effectiveness of the marriage according to German and foreign law. It is also checked whether the name declarations are effective in the marriage certificate, if necessary name declarations are included.


You and your spouse are
  • Unlimited income tax liability, which means that your place of residence or habitual abode is in Germany.
  • You and your spouse are not permanently separated.
  • The transfer of the marriage from the registry office via the registration office to the Federal Central Tax Office usually takes place automatically. The tax classes are set to IV / IV.


  • Hamburg citizens can contact any regional tax office in Hamburg for ELStAM matters.
  • The registration offices are responsible for changing the civil status data in the register (e.g. marriage, establishing a civil partnership, birth).
Section 39e (3) of the Income Tax Act (EStG)

Related Links

  • Re-notarization of a marriage abroad
  • Leaflet on tax class selection 2021
  • ELStAM, general information on tax classes and combinations
  • ELStAM, employee, factor method
  • ELStAM, employees, block your own ELStAM
If you do not want to keep the tax class IV automatically assigned when you get married, you and your spouse can apply to your local tax office to change the tax class.

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