Meaning of Tax Identification Number

The tax identification number, or tax ID for short, was introduced in 2007 and communicated to every citizen registered in Germany with a place of residence by the end of 2008. It is an eleven-digit number. Since every citizen is theoretically liable to pay taxes at birth, newborns also receive this number.

  • Every citizen registered in Germany receives a tax identification number from birth.
  • The purpose of tax ID is to simplify identification processes.
  • The tax ID is now used throughout Europe.
  • The tax ID number is not applied for, but takes place through communication of the data by the respective registration authority to the Federal Central Tax Office.

Where can I find my tax number?

Short for TIN by abbreviationfinder, the tax identification number is always shown in the tax assessment as an eleven-digit ID number. However, it is not identical to the tax number. Usually it can also be found on the income tax certificate . If you have neither a tax assessment nor an income tax certificate to hand, you can also request the tax identification number from the Federal Central Tax Office . The query takes place either by post or via the input mask on the homepage of the Federal Central Office. Information about the tax identification number can only be sent by letter; all other transmissions are excluded.

Meaning of the tax ID number

With the introduction of the tax ID, Germany followed the example of the other industrialized nations, which have been using such a tax number as a uniform identifier for a long time. In Italy, for example, the tax ID must be given as identification for the purchase of a prepaid telephone card. The identity card is not enough. The Europe-wide designation is TIN, Tax Identification Number. With the assignment, the person recorded by the financial administration keeps the number for life. The respective municipality reports the person to the tax authorities.

In the case of children, for example, it applies in connection with the granting of child benefit.

Structure of the tax identification number

Since the tax ID is a highly sensitive number, the security precautions are correspondingly high. In the block of the first ten digits, one digit is used twice, another not at all. In addition, it is also possible that a number appears three times, but two other numbers are omitted. The eleventh digit is a check digit that is calculated from the first ten digits using a complicated formula.

Which data are recorded?

The tax ID is not a personal identification number, but an “area-specific classification feature”. The tax offices are the only authorities that have access to the tax identification number and the stored data. The dates include

  • tax identification number
  • family name
  • previous names
  • first names
  • PhD degree
  • day and place of birth
  • gender
  • current or last known address
  • competent tax authorities
  • information blocks according to the Federal Registration Act
  • day of death Day of moving in and moving out

Which data is stored is specified in Paragraph 139b, Paragraph 3 of the Tax Code.

The Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt.) Also stores data on religious affiliation, the tax ID of the spouse and the tax ID of the parents in the case of underage children.

All in all, the tax ID simplifies certain processes in the context of taxation, since it is no longer necessary to compare numerous data, but only one data set, for example for inheritance claims.

You do not need to apply for a tax ID

It is not possible for citizens to apply for their tax ID. The acquisition was and is carried out automatically. The tax ID cannot be lost and reapplied for as it is stored at the Federal Central Tax Office for every taxpayer registered in Germany. If you move in from abroad and register with the residents’ registration office, the Federal Central Office is also automatically notified. In this case, too, the data subject does not need to be involved.


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