Electronic tax card

Under the name "ELStAM" (Electronic Income Tax Deduction Characteristics), all data for the income tax deduction are transmitted digitally.

Under the name "ELStAM" (for "Electronic Wage Tax Deduction Characteristics"), all data for the deduction of income tax between tax offices, companies and employees have been transmitted digitally since 1 January 2013. Employers can thus call up the ELStAM of their employees provided by the tax administration at any time, such as tax class, allowances, church entry or exit.

At the beginning of employment, the employer only needs the following information from the employee:

  • Identification number
  • Date of birth
  • Main employer yes / no - (no = tax class VI).

With the first-time application of the ELStAM, the income tax deduction procedure is simplified for all parties involved. As soon as the employer uses the electronic procedure in the calendar year 2013, tax-relevant changes after their entry in the population register (e.g. marriage, birth of a child, church entry or church exit) are automatically taken into account in the employee's income tax deduction.

As before, application-related allowances must be applied for annually at the competent tax office of residence. From 2016, you can also apply for this allowance for the first time for a period of two calendar years.
Allowances for children over the age of 18, lump sums for people with disabilities and survivors who have already been granted for several years remain valid and do not have to be applied for again.


The required application forms can be obtained from your responsible tax office or on the form server of the Federal Finance Administration.

Related Links

  • Form server of the Federal Finance Administration


Further information on the electronic tax card can be found at ELSTER.

  • ELSTER - for employers
  • ELSTER - for employees

Income Tax Act (EStG).

Related Links

  • EStG

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