Applying for a certificate of residence under a convention for the avoidance of double taxation

If, as a taxable (legal) person, you receive foreign income from a country with which there is an agreement to avoid double taxation, a certificate of residence may be required to be presented to a foreign tax authorities.

For example, the foreign state often requires a certificate of residence within the meaning of a double taxation agreement (DTA) if you apply abroad for exemption or reimbursement of withholding taxes on interest, dividends or royalties levied there.

The residence of a person is to be determined according to the respective regulations of the specific DTA between Germany and the other state in which the income is received. If you need advice on this, you can request it from a tax consultant of your choice for a fee.

In principle, certificates of residence may only be issued on an official form. They are issued by your tax office or by the tax office of your company.

The certificate of residence may already be part of the foreign application for exemption or reimbursement (for example, in the case of foreign investment income or royalties). For this purpose, the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) provides the forms agreed with the respective foreign tax authority. In addition, the form of the German tax administration, which is valid for all types of income, which is provided by the Federal Tax Administration, can be used.

written application (in duplicate)

Related Links

  • Forms provided by the foreign tax authority.
  • Online form of the German tax administration (german-English, german-Russian, german-French, german-Italian, german-Spanish language version)


You can submit the application for yourself (as a natural person, for example as a partner of a partnership) or on behalf of a legal person (for example, a corporation). A certificate of residence according to double taxation agreements (DTA) can be issued:

  • only for income tax purposes,
  • if the natural person or legal person
    • is resident in Germany in accordance with the respective DTA and
    • income has been generated abroad (e.g. foreign investment income or royalties) or
    • no income has been generated abroad, but the foreign state requires the presentation of a certificate of residence for necessary reasons (for example, to delete a tax registration of a person in that state).


The online form of the German tax administration can be found at: Form center > tax forms > double taxation > certificate of residence according to DTA

Provisions of the respective double taxation agreement (usually Article 4)

Related Links

  • The double taxation agreements concluded by Germany with other states

You can apply for a certificate of residence in accordance with double taxation agreements (DTA) in writing from the tax office responsible for you or the legal entity.

  • You must submit the application form in duplicate.
  • On the basis of your application and the contents of the file, the tax office will then check whether the requirements for confirming residence in Germany are met.
  • If the requirements are met, the tax office certifies the residence directly on the form submitted by you.
  • The tax office will hand over or send you the original copy of the certificate of residence, while it will take the second copy to the files.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony State Tax Office

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