The characteristics that are decisive for the wage tax deduction procedure, such as tax class, and, if applicable, the factor for this, the number of child allowances, other allowances, and also the church tax deduction characteristics are stored by the tax authorities for all employees in a central database. The tax authorities make this information available to employers for electronic retrieval (ELStAM - LohnSteuerAbzugsMerkmale).
Since 2011, the tax offices have been responsible for changing the wage tax deduction characteristics. However, the municipalities are still responsible for changes to the registration data itself (e.g. marriage, birth, joining or leaving the church). Only if you fulfill your legal obligation to report and the municipalities send the relevant data to the tax authorities can the tax authorities automatically form the ELStAM correctly. For example, the number of child allowances is automatically adjusted after the birth of a child or the income tax bracket is automatically adjusted in the event of marriage. However, upon request, a less favorable tax bracket or lower number of child allowances can also be formed as income tax deduction characteristics. If the ELStAM deviate from the actual circumstances in your favor, you are obliged to notify the tax office (see also under "Related topics").
When you start a new job, you only have to give your employer your date of birth and your tax identification number (IdNr.) once and tell him whether it is your main or secondary employment relationship. Using this information, your employer can electronically retrieve the required ELStAM for payroll tax deduction from the tax authorities.
The ELStAM are shown in your employer's wage statements. However, you can also view your ELStAM after a one-time free registration at www.elster.de under the heading "Forms & Benefits". In addition, the tax office responsible for you is the contact for information.
Only current employers are entitled to retrieve the ELStAM. When the employment relationship ends, this authorization no longer applies and the employer is obliged to deregister from the ELStAM database for this employee. Information on which employers have retrieved the ELStAM in the last two years can be obtained after a one-time free registration at www.elster.de or from the tax office responsible for you.
Among other things, you can request that no more ELStAM be created for you in the future, release the ELStAM for certain employers (positive list) or have them blocked for certain employers (negative list). If no ELStAM are made available for a calling employer due to a blocking, the employer is notified of the blocking and the employer must determine the wage tax according to tax class VI.
The tax office is exclusively responsible for changes and entries in the ELStAM database. If your ELStAM are incorrect, notify the relevant tax office of the applicable information (see also under "Related topics").