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, 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".

You get your tax ID by mail around 2 weeks after registering your address in Germany for the first time1, 2. It's at the top right corner of a document from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern. This is what this document looks like:


Lost your tax ID?

If you lost your Steueridentifikationsnummer, you may ask the Finanzamt to send it to you by filling this form. 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 "DE999999999".

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), since small businesses do not need charge VAT1.


  • Oct 16th, 2018 Sebabastian Forró wrote:

    This comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Oct 9th, 2018 Kornelija Gjorgjieska wrote:

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

  • Oct 9th, 2018 Ruth Nyirenda wrote:

    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

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