What is a tax number?
Within Germany everyone, big or small, receives a tax number. In order to guarantee a clear assignment of a person or a company, it must be entered in every document, for example a tax return. This applies to income tax, sales tax, trade tax and also corporation tax. Without a tax number, the effort would not be manageable at all tax offices and there would be a logistical mess.
How do I get a tax number?
To apply for a tax number, it is sufficient to contact the responsible tax office online, it does not matter whether the person is self-employed or freelance. The application can also be made by phone, if a business has been applied for anyway, the tax number will be sent automatically.
Anyone who applies for a tax number for themselves will automatically receive mail from their tax office. This is a questionnaire in which it must be entered which expected profit or turnover is estimated. It usually takes two to four weeks before the tax office can expect a response with the tax number. However, the prerequisite is that the letter is also signed, as it loses its validity without a signature.
According to AVIATIONOPEDIA.COM, the tax number must be stated as a mandatory part of the law on all invoices and it should also be noted when writing to the tax office, as any procedures will take less time.
Where can I find my tax number?
The tax number itself is made up of various codes that were introduced due to the Elster procedure. The tax numbers in Germany have all 13 digits, the first four being those of the Federal Tax Office.
If you are looking for your tax number, you should look it up on the last income tax assessment, it can be found there at the top right. If such a decision is not available, you can call the tax office to receive the information. If a tax return is to be made and there is no tax number available, this is also possible, the tax office will then assign a number later.
In contrast to the tax number, the tax identification number has only been available since July 2007. This is valid for life and can be used in addition to the old tax number. However, it is expected that the old tax number will soon be abolished and only the tax ID number will then be available.
Who needs the tax number?
First of all, the tax number must appear on every letter and, very importantly, on the income tax return from the tax office. In contrast to an employer who is not only interested in the tax number and also in the social security number, the tax number must be shown on all invoices.
An employer must of course know the tax number of his employee, because after all he has to pay wage tax for the employee. That is why the tax number is also listed on an income tax card at the top right. However, if you only work for a € 450 job, you do not need to give your tax number, because no taxes are due for this.
Everyone who wants to become self-employed, of course, also needs their tax number, because they have to pay taxes. The number must also be given for every payment transaction. Since both numbers are still available in parallel so far, but they do not have to be specified, one of the two options can be chosen.
It is also possible that a bank asks for the tax number, this is the case when it comes to an exemption order. At the end of each year, banks must provide information about the extent to which the limits of the exemption orders have been complied with.
Those who want to have their child benefit in the future must also provide information about the ID number. The purpose of this is to ensure that there are no double payouts. Those who refuse will no longer receive child benefit. The law has been in effect since January 1, 2016 and whoever does not take care of it and puts it on the back burner can expect in the early future that there will be an interruption in payment.
Tax number and ID number are two different things and have nothing in common. Since the old tax number is to be abolished soon anyway, everyone who does not yet have an ID number should take care of it as soon as possible.
The tax number can still be specified for all inquiries and letters to a tax office, including income tax, wage tax, sales tax and trade tax. Furthermore, the tax number is used to identify yourself as an entrepreneur. He must be registered with the responsible tax office and can clarify everything important there under his personal tax number.
While not everyone who submits an income tax assessment uses their ID number for identification, they will have to do so in the near future, because the numbers are also used to exchange data between the individual offices and can thus make work a lot easier.
A tax number is still important
If you don’t have a tax number yet, you should take care of it or, even better, ask for your ID number right away. As already mentioned, the responsible tax office can quickly find out the tax number or assign one if someone wants to become self-employed.
Even if invoices have to be drawn up, the tax number must appear on them, otherwise it could be tax evasion, which is of course punishable.