Payroll tax

As an employer, you must withhold the payroll tax for your employees on every payslip and pay it to the permanent establishment tax office. The amount of income tax depends in particular on the ELStAM. ELStAM stands for Electrical L ohn S expensive A bzugs M erkmale. These are the individual taxation features that you as an employer need to carry out the wage tax deduction of your employees and that are provided to you electronically by the tax authorities for data retrieval These 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.

Your locally responsible 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 secondary employment relationship: tax class 6).

For ELStAM, employers need an organization certificate from "Mein ELSTER" as well as a wage program that supports ELStAM.

The analogue tax card was finally replaced in 2013 by the database "E lektronische L ohn S teuer A bzugs M erkmale".
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 in particular 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 the event of discrepancies or questions about the stored ELStAM, employees should contact their locally responsible tax office.

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