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

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

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

Germany uses different identification numbers for tax purposes. Among them are the tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer), the tax number (Steuernummer) and the VAT number (Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer). This guide explains what these numbers are and how to get yours.

The tax ID (Identifikationsnummer)

The Steueridentifikationsnummer, Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer, Persönliche Identificationsnummer, Identifikationsnummer, Steuer-IdNr., IdNr or SteuerID is your unique, permanent tax identification number. This is the number the tax office (Finanzamt) uses to identify you. It has the format "12 345 678 901". Your tax ID is permanent, it never changes.

Your employer needs your tax ID to calculate your income tax. If you don't have a tax ID, your employer will take more income tax from your salary1, 2, 3. You will only get that money back when you file a tax declaration1, 2.

You get your tax ID by mail around 2 weeks after registering your address in Germany for the first time1, 2. You can get it faster by visiting the Finanzamt and asking for it1. Your tax ID is at the top right corner of a document from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern. This is what this document looks like:

1200px-Bundeszentralamt_für_Steuern_-_Zuteilung_Identifikationsnummer_2008.jpg#asset:396:contentFullwidth2x

Lost your tax ID?

If you lost your Steueridentifikationsnummer, fill this form, and the Finanzamt will send it to you. You will receive a letter with your tax ID a month later. You can also visit the nearest Finanzamt to get it on the same day1.

The tax number (Steuernummer)

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

You get a Steuernummer by filling the Fragebogen zur Steuerlichen Erfassung. You will receive your tax number by mail 2 to 4 weeks after submitting this form1. If it takes longer, you can call your local Finanzamt and ask for the number.

The Steuernummer is unique, but not permanent. If you move your business to an area served by a different Finanzamt, you will get a new Steuernummer1. Do not confuse the Steuernummer with the VAT number (Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer1).

The VAT number (Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer)

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

You also get a VAT number by filling the Fragebogen zur Steuerlichen Erfassung. You will not get a number if you declare a small business (Kleintunternehmer), because small businesses do not need charge VAT1.

Need help?

If you need help with German taxes, you should talk to a tax advisor (Steuerberater). If you live in Berlin, look at our list of English-speaking tax advisors.

Comments

  • Megzon

    I do not live in Germany and never was there but because of online working i need a tax id and i want to registe but i do not know how? Would someone help me please? Thanks

  • InéS Racionero

    I am currently enrolled in a Masters study program in Marburg University. Since I have already completed all my mandatory courses at the University, and I only have left my Masters dissertation to write I am currently living in Spain. However, I have been offered a job for a professor at the Uni of Marburg and I need a Steuer ID... Is there an option to obtain that ID without having to Register at the Registration Office?

  • George

    Hey Guys,
    Does anybody know if it's still possible to get my IDnummer from the finanzamt?
    I need mine asap and I tried in the finzanzamt today but was told I need to apply online to have it sent to me via post, which will take at least weeks.
    Is there a quicker way than this that I can get it?
    Thanks!

  • Daniel Ohene

    Please what is the meaning of steuer 1.do I pay more or less when I have steuer 1?

  • Luca Varga

    If I lived in Munich and had my tax number there, but then moved back to Hungary, but now, half year after, I am moving back to Germany, Berlin, is my tax number still valid? Even is I deregistered in august?

  • Fred

    Hello! I wonder if "persönliche identifikationsnummer" is the same as "beitragsnummer"? Thanks.

  • Eddie

    Hi - I have my tax number already issued but I cant find the document .... is it possible to look it up online or something similar or do I need to go to the finanzamt and suffer the never ending bureaucracy .... Thanks guys!!

  • Marie

    Hallo!

    Ich habe eien Frage. I recently move to Germany from Mexiko to study my masters. I already did my Anmeldung at the Rathaus like a month and a half ago but still havent gotten any number for my taxes id and i'm being ask that number in order to open my bank account because it's annoying and you lose a lot of money with a foreign one. What can I do? do i need to apply for it? or should I just go to the building of the finantial office? Thank you in advance!

  • Jishnu

    I am a student in Heidelberg who recently moved here. Is it possible for me to open a bank account without a Tax ID? If I do need one, can I open a bank account immediately after I register my address?

  • Sophie Windsor

    I am interning in Germany for 3 months and was told not to register with the authorities since I am here for less than 90 days, which means I don't have a tax ID. Is there any way to file an income tax returns claim without one? If not, how can I get one?

  • Noelia Contreras

    Hi! If I have changed my adress, how can I change it also in my data of my Persönliche Identifikationsnummer? When I did my steuernummer I put the new one, but never bothered changing the other one. Help!!!
    Thanks :)

  • Brittany Young

    Hi there. In 2018 I left Germany (deregistered and everything) and my Freelance Artist Visa was cancelled. This year, 2019, I came back to Germany, and had to reapply for the Freelance Artist Visa, basically starting over again. Will I need to apply for a new Steuernummer?

  • Gabriela

    Hello!

    I registered at the Rathaus in january, but I did not get my tax number. Meantime i got hired and they asked me for this number. I requested it immediately but they said that they can not find me in the system. Now i have to register myself again and they will send me the tax number in 2 weeks.
    The problem is that i will get paid soon. Where do i have to go to pay the taxes after that? And will i have to pay more?
    Thank you:)

  • James Gordon

    Hello i am about trying to get a vat number of a German company using only its name in other to verify if its a legit company. what do i do inorder to get the vat number ?

  • Mart

    I will work abroad but still getting paid my German employer (Berlin). During that period I will cancel my rent contract and leave the apartment... should I abmeldung? Or that will impact on my Tax ID/Class?

    Thanks!

  • Baishakhi

    Hi
    it has been more than 3 weeks that I have registered and I still haven't received any document. What should I do ? Thanks

  • Amanda

    Hello, I have to provide a German VAT for Amazon.de. We are based in the United States and already have a VAT number for the UK. Is there an easier way to get the steuernummer so I can apply for the German VAT, can I do the German VAT without getting a steurnummer? I am so confused!

    Thanks for any help!

  • Blake Matich

    Hi there, I'm really confused by all of this. I finally received my student visa after being embroiled in a bureaucratic nightmare. And now I'm told there are even more hurdles. I was just applying to a bar job (so not my own business) and they requested these:
    - Stuernummer
    - Sozialvericherungsnummer or Rentenversicherungsnummer
    - Rote karte

    Obviously the last one is a hygiene thing and unrelated. But what do I need for the others? In the above text it says the Stuernummer is only for freelancers and businesses...
    Thanks!

  • Kati

    Hi, I wonder about the VAT number. I read that even if you apply for small entrepreneur Status (as I did), you Need the VAT ID number for EU customers (outside of Germany), and there is a line in the application form which I filled in to ask for it. But I only received the steuernummer by mail, no VAT number. Has anyone experienced same, does the VAT number usually arrive by mail together with the steuernummer, or is it possible that I will receive it later by separate mail. Otherwise I guess I Need to make a separate application for the VAT number.

  • Arpine Molasyan

    Hello, I how I can request my Tax ID online

  • Theodoros Michas

    Hi! I went to the finanzamt in the area that i live and the gave me St-ID: 12 345 678 901 (example of format). Then today after 5 days i received a paper like the one at this site above with a number of the same format but different numbers Persönliche Identificationsnummer: 09 123 456 789 (example). Is this normal? Which one should i give to my employer for my contract? Thanks in advance

  • Charlie

    I now have my tax ID and have sent it to my employer as I have been being taxed class 6 since working. Will the German payroll partner automatically transfer me the money or do I need to fill out a document in order to get the money back?

  • Hernan

    Hello. I'm having a problem invoicing a company in Spain from Germany. I am a small business so I don't have a VAT-number, only a Steuernummer, but this company says it is mandatory for an intercomunitarian transaction. I didn't have this problem when I was registered in Spain and invoicing German companies. Are they correct?

  • Chrissie

    Hey, I registered about 5 weeks ago and still haven't received my tax number even though when my workplace checked the processing of it online they said it was in the post (this was last week). Do you have any idea why this might be?

  • Anupama

    It has already been more then a week and i still have not got my tax number yet.

  • Maria Lialiou

    I would like to ask you if you get the Tax ID number just with the first Anmeldung. I was anmelden in Germany (Potsdam) in 2016, for one semester as I was Erasmus student. Then, I got abmelden and now I register myself again as I am back in Berlin to do my master. So will I take a new identifikationummer or will I have the same? I went to Finanzamt but the didn't speak English and they understood that I wanted the Steuernummer which is different..

  • Kotsiri Konstantina

    Please I am working in the procurement department of Ministry of Finance and i would like to know the VAT number of a company that has home base in Frankfurt and is called " Bureau van Dijk Electronic Publishing GMBH". Thank you in advance.

  • Jamie

    I've just moved to an area with a different Finanzampt. I'm wondering if my Freelance Steuernummer automatically changes or do I have to apply for a new one. Can't find any info about this.

  • Kornelija Gjorgjieska

    Can I get my total amount of tax for working in Germany only with my identification number?

  • Ruth Nyirenda

    I would like to find out if example i have the tax ID number from my country which is a non EU country. I can i use the same even here in Germany. Thank you