Change in church tax deduction upon joining the church

Service Description

If you join or re-join a tax-levying religious community, you must pay church tax in accordance with the church tax laws of the federal states, as a surcharge on income or wage tax (Lohnkirchensteuer). The employer must therefore withhold not only the wage tax but also regularly the church tax from the employee's wages and pay it to the tax office each time the wage is paid. The corresponding procedure for deducting the wage church tax is largely automated. Therefore, you generally do not have to do anything further after declared entry to meet your church tax obligations.

The religious communities themselves regulate how and to which office church membership is to be declared. 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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