Change of church tax deduction in case of leaving the church

Service Description

If you leave a tax-levying religious community, the obligation to pay church tax as a supplement to income or wage tax (Lohnkirchensteuer) no longer applies according to the church tax laws of the federal states. The employer therefore no longer has to withhold church tax from the employee's wages and pay it to the tax office in addition to the wage tax each time the wage is paid. The corresponding procedure for discontinuing the deduction of wage church tax is largely automated. Therefore, once you have declared your resignation, you generally do not have to do anything further to discharge yourself from your obligation to pay church tax.

How and at which office the withdrawal from the church is to be declared is regulated differently by state law. Church membership is recorded by the registration authorities of the federal states and can only be changed by them. The tax authorities have no influence on this. This is important, for example, if the authorities have incorrect data.

The registration authorities notify the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) of changes in church affiliation and the corresponding date. The BZSt stores the electronic wage tax deduction characteristics (ELStAM) in a database. The stored data also includes characteristics for church tax deduction.

The BZSt makes the ELStAM available to the employer for automated retrieval free of charge. The ELStAM are decisive for the withholding of church tax by the employer in the tax deduction procedure, i.e. the employer is bound by them and does not need to check the question of church tax liability.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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