How to find your German tax ID (Steuernummer and Steueridentifikationsnummer)

How to find your German tax ID (Steuernummer and Steueridentifikationsnummer)

A brief guide to obtaining or finding your tax identification number in Germany

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Your German tax ID will be given to you during your first visit to the Bürgeramt, after arriving in Germany, but before your first day of work. When you do your mandatory Anmeldung (registering your address in Germany), you will receive a tax number on a separate piece of paper. That's the Steueridentifikationsnummer, or Identifikationsnummer.

Steuernummer vs. Identifikationsnummer

There are two types of tax identification numbers: the Steueridentifikationsnummer and the Steuernummer.

Identifikationsnummer

The SteueridentifikationsnummerSteuerliche IdentifikationsnummerIdentifikationsnummer, Steuer-IdNr.IdNr or SteuerID is the permanent tax identification number. It is mailed to you after you register your address in Germany for the first time1. Your employer needs your tax ID to pay you.

Your tax ID is an 11 digit number that looks like "12 345 678 901". You will find it in the top right corner of a document from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern.f This is what this document looks like:

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Steuernummer

The Steuernummer, Steuer-Identnummer or St-Nr. is a different number. It's a 11 or 12 digit number depending on the Bundesland, and it's usually written as a 13 digit number that starts with the number of your Bundesland12. Your Steuernummer will change when you move in an area served by a different Finanzamt1.

It's possible that you don't have a tax number yet. You normally get one when you fill the Fragebogen zur Steuerlichen Erfassung form to declare a business or register as a freelancer. You should receive your Steuernummer 4 to 6 weeks after submitting the form1.

The Steuernummer is not a VAT ID. The German VAT number is called the Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer1.

Lost your tax ID number?

If you lost your Steueridentifikationsnummer, you may request the Finanzamt to send it to you by filling this form. You should receive a letter with your tax ID a month later. You can also visit the nearest Finanzamt to get it on the same day1.

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