Tax class - change upon marriage

Service Description

If you get married, you will automatically be placed in tax class IV at the time of marriage if

  • you are not permanently separated and
  • your residence or habitual abode is in Germany.

The registry office automatically informs the Federal Central Tax Office about the marriage.
Alternatively, you can apply for the formation of the tax class combination III/V. Furthermore, you can choose the tax class combination IV/IV with factor.

Your employer or the employer of your wife or husband should not be informed about the change in marital status? Then you or your wife or husband can apply to your competent tax office to have tax class I taken into account. The effect in terms of wage tax deduction then corresponds to tax class IV. Alternatively, you can also have your employer block the retrieval of electronic wage tax deduction characteristics.
If you do this, however, your employer is obliged to tax your wages according to the least favorable tax class VI.

Background information on the choice of tax class by married couples:
The employer usually only knows the wages of the employee working for him, but not those of the wife or husband. Consequently, only an employee's wages can be used as the basis for deducting income tax. The wages of both spouses can only be combined after the end of the year within the framework of the income tax assessment. Only then does the correct annual tax result. It is therefore often unavoidable that too much or too little income tax is withheld during the calendar year. In order to come as close as possible to the annual result, spouses can choose between 2 tax class combinations (IV/IV as the statutory rule and III/V on application) and the factor method.
Which tax class combination is the best? This cannot be answered in a general way, but depends on your needs and the circumstances of the individual case.

Combinations IV/IV or III/V:
The tax class combination IV/IV assumes that the spouses earn approximately the same amount. The tax class combination III/V is designed so that the sum of the tax deduction amounts for both spouses is approximately equal to the joint annual tax if the wife or husband with tax class III earns 60 percent and the wife or husband with tax class V earns 40 percent of the sum of the earned income of both spouses. As a result, the tax deduction for tax class V is proportionally higher than for tax classes III and IV. This is also due to the fact that in tax class V the basic allowance for the subsistence minimum is not taken into account, but is doubled in tax class III. If the ratio of actual wages does not correspond to the legal assumption of 60:40, this may result in additional tax payments. For this reason, when choosing the tax class combination III/V, there is an obligation to file an income tax return.

Combination IV/IV with factor:
Instead of the tax class combination III/V, you can choose the factor method in addition to the tax class combination IV/IV. The tax class combination IV/IV in combination with the factor to be calculated by the tax office ensures that for each wife and husband the basic tax-free amount applicable to him or her is taken into account when deducting income tax by applying tax class IV and that the income tax to be withheld is reduced by applying the factor of 0,... (always less than 1) in accordance with the effect of the splitting procedure. The factor is a tax-reducing multiplier, which is calculated from the effect of the splitting procedure in case of different wage levels of the spouses. Tax allowances are included in the factor. The factor is automatically provided to the employer as an electronic wage tax deduction feature.

Since the law introducing the right to marry for persons of the same sex came into force on October 1, 2017, new civil partnerships can no longer be formed in Germany. Same-sex couples have been able to enter into marriage with each other since this date and are thus on an equal footing with opposite-sex couples.
Existing civil partnerships can be converted into marriage. However, there is no obligation to do so. Existing civil partnerships can be continued in their previous form.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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Competent Authority

Finanzamt Jena

Leutragraben 8
07743 Jena
0361 573626-000
0361 573626-653
Opening times

Our service center will be permanently closed. During our service hours, we will answer inquiries about your specific tax case by telephone:

0361 57 3626-900

Service hours

Monday 08.00 - 12.00 h and 13.00 - 15.00 h

Tuesday 08.00 - 12.00 h and 13.00 - 15.00 h

Wednesday 08.00 - 12.00

Thursday 08.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 18.00

Friday 08.00 - 12.00

If a matter cannot be resolved by telephone, you still have the option of making a personal appointment with the person responsible.


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