ELStAM

ELStAM stands for Electronic Income Tax Deduction Characteristics. These are the individual taxation characteristics that the employer needs to carry out the income tax deduction and that were previously entered on the front of the tax card. These so-called ELStAM are: the tax bracket the number of child allowances, the so-called religious characteristic, which certifies membership of a religious community levying church tax, and any tax allowances. The ELStAM are initially generated directly from the registration data stored by the municipal registration authorities. This applies in particular to the tax bracket, which depends on whether the employee is single or married/partnered, the number of child allowances and the religious characteristic. At the request of the employee, the tax office can add or change certain further individual tax bases (e.B. allowances for advertising costs) or change them (e.B. tax class change of both working spouses/life partners, tax class combinations IV/IV and III/V). The employee is informed by the employer about the ELStAM taken into account in the wage tax deduction by the employer in his payslip. In case of discrepancies or questions about the stored ELStAM, please contact your locally responsible tax office. Tax class change: A change of tax class for spouses/life partners who are not permanently separated can only take place once a year at the request of both spouses/life partners by 30 November of the current year at the latest. A change of tax class takes effect on the 1st of the month following the application. For reasons of unemployment or taking up a job, a further change of tax bracket is possible. The first change of tax brackets on the occasion of marriage/civil partnership is not a change of tax class. This means that after the first certificate of tax class III, IV or V in the same calendar year, a tax class change, e.B. from the tax class combination IV/IV to the tax class combination III/V, is still possible.

Your locally responsible tax office will inform you about the documents required in individual cases.


Forms and applications for income tax are available at all tax offices. Furthermore, the corresponding forms are available for download on the homepage of the State Office for Taxes.

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Last update or date of publication
03.03.2021