Paying payroll tax
As an employer, you must withhold payroll tax for your employees on each payroll settlement and pay it to the works establishment tax office. The level of payroll tax depends in particular on the ELStAM. ELStAM stands for E electrify L ohn S expensive A bzugs M erkmale. These are the individual tax characteristics that you, as an employer, need to carry out the payroll tax deduction of your employees and which are provided to you electronically by the tax administration for data retrieval. These ELStAM are: the tax class the number of child allowances, the so-called religious characteristic, which certifies membership to a religious community that collects a church tax, and any tax allowances.
Your local tax office will inform you about the documents required in individual cases. In order to add a new employee to the system, the following information is required from the employee: Date of birth tax identification number Type of employment relationship (main employment relationship: tax class 1 to 5 or ancillary employment relationship: tax class 6).
For ELStAM, employers need an organizational certificate from "My ELSTER" as well as a wage program that supports ELStAM.
The analog payroll tax card was finally replaced in 2013 by the database "E lektronic L ohn S expensive A bzugs M erkmale".
The ELStAM are initially generated directly from the reporting data stored by the municipal reporting authorities. This applies in particular to the tax bracket, which depends in particular on whether the employee is single or married/partnered, the number of child allowances and the characteristic of religion. At the employee's request, the tax office may add or modify certain other individual tax bases (e.B. allowances for advertising costs) or change (e.B. tax class changes on both sides of working spouses/partners, tax class combinations IV/IV and III/V). The employee is informed about the ELStAM taken into account in the payroll tax deduction by the employer in his payroll statement by the employer. In the event of any discrepancies or questions regarding the stored ELStAM, employees shall contact their local tax office.