Change of income tax bracket during marriage or civil partnership

The tax bracket determines the amount of payroll tax that is deducted from your wages. If you and your spouse or partner do not live permanently separated, you and your spouse or partner 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. If you submit a joint application with your spouse or partner to your responsible tax office, the tax classes can be changed from IV/IV to III/V or IV/IV with factor. Likewise, the assignment of tax classes III and V can be exchanged on joint request (see further information). For the change from tax class III/V to IV/IV, it is sufficient if you or your spouse or partner apply for the tax class change at your responsible tax office (see further information). A change of tax class takes effect on the 1st of the month following the application. For example, you and your spouse or partner may apply for a tax class change in the following cases: you or your spouse or partner no longer receive wages, You or your spouse or partner resume employment after unemployment. From 2020, the change in the tax bracket will no longer be limited to once a year. In the following cases, you are obliged to inform your responsible tax office that a different tax class must be taken into account: you and your spouse or partner have separated permanently, Your spouse or partner has died. hint: Since the entry into force of the act introducing the right to marry for persons of the same sex on 1.10.2017, no new civil partnerships can be established in Germany. Since then, same-sex couples have been able to enter into marriage with each other and are thus on an equal footing with couples of different sexes. Existing civil partnerships can be converted into a marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Existing civil partnerships can be continued in their current form.

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The application for a change of tax class must be submitted in writing to the responsible tax office on the officially prescribed form (see further information).

Preconditions
There must be an intact marriage or civil partnership in order to choose between several tax class combinations.
§ 38b paragraph 3 Income Tax Act (EStG) Section 39(6) of the Income Tax Act (EStG); The legal bases can be found on the Website of the Federal Ministry of Justice https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/estg/__38b.html https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/estg/__39.html

To take into account a different tax class combination, you and your spouse or partner submit an application to your responsible tax office using the officially prescribed form (see further information).

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony State Tax Office

Last update or date of publication
23.02.2021