Determination of electronic income tax deduction items (ELStAM), tax class change after permanent separation (or divorce/dissolution of a civil partnership)

Employees are assigned tax classes for the purpose of income tax deduction. If you separate permanently as a spouse or civil partner during the course of the year, the tax classes will generally remain in place until the end of this year as they are entered as electronic income tax deduction items (ELStAM) or indicated on official documents for income tax deduction.

However, the tax class combinations possible for spouses/civil partners (III/V, IV/IV or IV/IV with factor) may be changed upon application. The change from tax class III or V to tax class IV is possible upon application of only one spouse or civil partner with the consequence that both will be placed in tax class IV.

In the year following permanent separation, the (former) spouses or partners are treated as individual persons for tax purposes (tax class I; single parent with child and entitled to the tax relief for single parents: tax class II).

Note: If the marriage/civil partnership is resumed, it is possible to switch back to the tax class combinations for spouses/civil partners.

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Service details

Detailed information

  • Lohnsteuer
    Sächsisches Staatsministerium der Finanzen

Prerequisite

  • Permanently separated spouses/civil partners or
  • Resumption of marriage/civil partnership or
  • Divorce/dissolution of the civil partnership

Procedure

Tax class change in the calendar year of separation or resumption

To change your tax class, you must apply to the tax office.

  • Submit the application and the other required documents to the tax office in person or in writing.
  • If you submit the application in person, it will usually be processed immediately.

If you would like a change of tax class in the calendar year of permanent separation or upon resumption of the marriage/civil partnership, please note that as a rule only a joint application is possible (by mutual agreement). The application of only one spouse/civil partner is sufficient if a change is to be made from tax class III or V to tax class IV (for both).

Change of tax class for the calendar year after permanent separation (or divorce/dissolution of civil partnership)

  • You can separately apply for the tax class change to the responsible tax office in person or in writing with the required documents.
Tip: Your employer will be notified of the amended ELStAM and their validity via the electronic retrieval procedure. If you wish to receive a printout of your ELStAM, please indicate this on the application form. You can also check your own ELStAM after registering free of charge at "ELSTER: Ihr Online-Finanzamt" (www.elster.de).

Required documents

  • Proof of identity (ID card or passport), if applying in person
  • As a rule, an informal application is sufficient. In addition to personal data (name and address), please also state your respective tax ID and tax number. It is advisable to use the form “Antrag auf Steuerklassenwechsel bei Ehegatten/Lebenspartnern” (application for change of tax class for spouses/civil partners" and to enclose the completed form “Erklärung zum dauernden Getrenntleben” (declaration of permanent separation).

In the calendar year following the permanent separation:

  • Submit the completed form “Erklärung zum dauernden Getrenntleben” to the tax office.

Upon resumption of the marriage/civil partnership:

  • Use the form "Erklärung zur Wiederaufnahme der ehelichen/lebenspartnerschaftlichen Gemeinschaft" (declaration on resumption of the marriage/civil partnership).

Deadlines

  • Application for change of tax class in the calendar year of permanent separation or upon resumption of the marriage/civil partnership: by November 30 of the year for which the tax class is to apply.
  • Notification of change in the calendar year after permanent separation (or divorce/dissolution of the civil partnership): without delay if you are still registered in tax class IV, III or V, respectively, even though the permanent separation (or divorce/dissolution of the civil partnership) already took place in the previous year.

Legal basis

  • § 2 Abs. 8 Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG) – Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft
  • § 38b Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG) – Lohnsteuerklassen
  • § 39 Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG) – Lohnsteuerabzugsmerkmale
  • § 39f Einkommensteuergesetz (EStG) – Faktorverfahren anstelle Steuerklassenkombination III / V

Release note

Saxon State Ministry of Finance. 14.01.2020