Apply for a change in the tax bracket when you marry

Spouses who are both subject to unlimited income tax and do not live separately permanently are automatically classified in tax class IV at the time of marriage, even if only one spouse receives a working salary. If you and your spouse meet the requirements for tax class IV, you can also apply to the other spouse for the formation of tax class III and tax class V. You and your spouse can also choose the iv/IV tax class combination with factor. (see further information) If your employer and/or your spouse's employer are not informed of the changed marital status, you and/or your spouse may apply to your competent tax office for consideration of a less favourable tax bracket. This would be tax class I. There is also the possibility that you and/or your spouse may have your employer blocked for the retrieval of the Electronic Payroll Tax Deduction Characteristics (ELStAM). You and/or your spouse must apply to your competent tax office for blocking the employer's call (see further information). If you have the call blocked for your employer, your employer is obliged to tax your wage according to tax class VI. Note: Since the entry into force of the law establishing the right to marry for persons of the same sex on 1.10.2017, no new civil partnerships can be established in Germany. Same-sex couples have been able to marry each other since then and are thus treated as same as different-sex couples. Existing civil partnerships can be converted into a marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Existing life partnerships can be continued in their current form.

If the marriage is concluded domestically, there is no need to submit documents. In principle, the duly issued foreign marriage certificate is used to prove a marriage concluded abroad. The registry office of the domicile may apply for the marriage to be subsequently certified in the German marriage register. There is no obligation to re-report. However, the entry in the German marriage register can be advantageous because the local registry office can issue a marriage certificate. The registry office examines the effectiveness of marriage according to German and the respective foreign rights. It is also checked whether the declarations of name in the marriage certificate are effective. If necessary, name explanations are included.


The application for a change in the tax class or for the blocking of the employer's call must be submitted in writing to the competent tax office on official form (see further information).

Preconditions
_ You and your spouse are subject to unlimited income tax, which means that your residence or habitual residence is in Germany. _ You and your spouse do not live separately. _ As a rule, the transfer of marriage from the registry office via the registration authority to the Federal Central Tax Office is automatic. The tax classes are set to IV/IV.
Section 39e (3) Income Tax Act (EStG) The legal basis can be found on the Internet on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/estg/__39.html

If you do not wish to retain tax class IV automatically at the time of marriage, you and your spouse may apply to your tax office for a change in the tax bracket (see further information).