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Procedure descriptions

Apply for a change in the wage tax deduction characteristics (ELStAM) after marriage

Marriage or registration of a civil partnership changes your income tax class. If only one person receives wages, this person is no longer subject to income tax class I, but to tax class III.

If you both receive wages, you can decide:

  • You both choose income tax class IV. This is the legal rule.
  • You both choose wage tax class IV with a factor.
  • You choose the combination of tax class III and V.

Note: A change from tax class III or V to tax class IV is also possible at the request of only one spouse or civil partner. In this case, both persons will be placed in tax class IV. You must submit the application in writing or electronically and sign it personally.

Responsible department

The tax office responsible for your place of residence



  • Marriage or
  • Registration of a civil partnership


You must apply for the change of tax classes together. If you choose the factor method, you must also state the expected wages for the calendar year. To do this, fill out the "Application for change of tax class for spouses/life partners".

If you marry, the electronic ELStAM procedure automatically assigns tax class IV to you and your spouse or civil partner after the registration office has entered the marriage or civil partnership in the registration database.

Attention: If only one person receives a salary, from a legal point of view tax class III applies to this person. You must submit an "Application for change of tax class for spouses/life partners" to the tax office responsible for your place of residencetax office responsible for you. The tax office will then change the automatically assigned tax class IV to tax class III.

By marrying/registering a civil partnership, you do not lose your right to change your tax class annuallyombination.

Notice: The chosen combination of tax classes will continue to apply to you as long as the legal requirements for it are met. You can apply for a factor to be taken into account for 2 years.

Since 1 October 2021, you can submit the application for a change of tax class to the tax office in the online portal "My Elster" at www.elster.de. Registration is necessary for the electronic authenticated transmission. The registration process can take up to two weeks.


By 30 November at the latest

Required documents






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