German residents have different tax identification numbers. This guide helps you find them.

The tax ID (Steuer-ID)

    This is your unique, permanent tax identification number. Every German resident has a tax ID. The Finanzamt uses this number to identify you. It has the format "12 345 678 901". The tax ID is permanent; it never changes. It's also called Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer, Persönliche Identificationsnummer, Identifikationsnummer, Steuer-IdNr., IdNr or Steuer-ID.

    Why you need a tax ID

    Your employer needs your tax ID to calculate your salary tax. If you don't have a tax ID, your employer will put you in tax class 6, and you will pay more taxes1, 2, 3, 4. You will get that money back when you file a tax return1, 2. You do not need a tax ID to start working, but some employers don't know this.

    If you have children, you need their tax ID to apply for child benefits (Kindergeld), and to get a Kitagutschein.

    You also need a tax ID to start a business.

    How to get your tax ID

    You get a tax ID when you register your address for the first time. 2 to 4 weeks after you register your address, you get a letter from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern. Your tax ID is in the top right corner.

    1200Px Bundeszentralamt Für Steuern  Zuteilung Identifikationsnummer 2008

    If you registered your address before, you already have a tax ID. You just need to find it.

    If you can't register your address, fill this form and mail it to your local Finanzamt with a copy of your passport. You will get your tax ID by post 2 to 4 weeks later.

    If you want your tax ID faster, go to the Finanzamt after your Anmeldung, and ask for it1, 2. You can do this 3 business days after your Anmeldung. You don't need an appointment. Bring your personal ID.

    Where to find your tax ID

    If you already have a tax ID, you can find it here:

    If you lost your tax ID, there are 2 ways to find it:

    • Go to the nearest Finanzamt, and ask for it. They will tell you your tax ID1, 2. You don't need an appointment.
    • Fill this form, and the Finanzamt will send you a letter with your tax ID. It takes up to 4 weeks1. They will send it to the address you registered, not anywhere else.

    The tax number (Steuernummer)

      The Steuernummer is for freelancers and businesses. It's a 10 or 11 digit number, and has the format "12/345/67890". It's sometimes written as "3012034567890" (the first two digits are the number of your Bundesland1, 2). It's also called Steuer-Identnummer or St-Nr.

      How to get a Steuernummer

      You get a Steuernummer when you register your business with the Finanzamt. You get the tax number by mail, 2 to 6 weeks later1. If it takes longer, ask your local Finanzamt on the phone or in person.

      The Steuernummer is unique, but not permanent. If your business moves to a different Finanzamt's area, it will get a new Steuernummer1.

      When you get your Steuernummer, you must put it in your Impressum, and on your invoices to German customers.

      Where to find a business' tax number

      You can usually find a business' Steuernummer on their website (in their Impressum), and on their invoices1.

      The VAT number (Umsatzsteuer-Id)

        The Umsatzsteuer-ID is the German VAT number. It's a 9 digit number with the format "DE123456789". It's also called Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer, USt-Identifikationsnummer or USt-IdNr.

        The tax VAT number is for businesses that charge VAT. You need a VAT number to invoice customers in other EU countries.

        How to get a German VAT number

        You get a VAT number when you register your business with the Finanzamt. If you already registered your business, you can request a VAT number here.

        You only get a VAT number if your business charges VAT. A small business (Kleinunternehmer) that does not charge VAT might not have a VAT number.

        How VAT works in Germany ➞

        When you get your VAT number, you must put it in your Impressum, and on your invoices to EU customers.

        Where to find a business' VAT number

        You can usually find a business' VAT number on their website (in their Impressum), and on their invoices1.

        You can check if a VAT number is valid, but it will not give you information about the business.

        Need help?

        Where to find help ➞ Business questions