ELStAM, employees, tax brackets for registered civil partnerships

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled on May 7, 2013 (Az .: 2 BvR 909/06 et al.) That the unequal treatment of registered civil partnerships and marriages in the case of spouse splitting is unconstitutional.

The Income Tax Act has been changed accordingly, so that registered partners can now opt for one of the tax class combinations III / V, IV / IV or IV / IV with a factor when deducting income tax. However, it is also possible to remain in tax class I.
Since the law introducing the right to marry for persons of the same sex (marriage opening law) came into force on October 1, 2017, same-sex couples can no longer enter into a civil partnership, but instead marry. Furthermore, since October 1st, 2017, it has been possible to convert a registered civil partnership into a marriage.

For further information on the possible tax classes and their combinations see links.

Form 'Application for tax class change for spouses and civil partners' with tax identification number and signature of both civil partners. This can be submitted as follows:
  • In writing (by letter) with a civil partnership certificate (a copy is sufficient)
  • In person: with civil partnership certificate (original) and identity paper
  • By proxy: with civil partnership certificate (original), identity paper of the proxy and written power of attorney.

Note: If the application form is signed by both partners, only one partner needs to be present for a personal application.


  • The tax office is responsible for changes and entries in the ELStAM database.
  • Hamburg citizens can contact any regional tax office in Hamburg for ELStAM matters.
  • The registration offices are still responsible for changing the civil status data in the population register.
Section 2 (8) and Section 38b of the Income Tax Act (EStG)

Related Links

  • Leaflet on tax class selection 2022
  • Conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage
  • ELStAM, general information on tax classes and combinations
  • ELStAM, employees, change of tax class for spouses and life partners

Responsible for the content
No information available

Last update or date of publication
No information available