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How to get a Tax ID Number in Germany?

The German Tax ID & German Tax Number Explained

Last update: April 2016
Note: This is not for businesses!

What is a Tax Identification Number or Tax ID?

Tax Number (in German: Steuernummer)

The "Steurnummer" and the "Steuer-Identifikationsnummer" are 2 different numbers for tax purposes. The Steuernummer is currently only being used for tax returns & freelancers!

If you want to work as a freelancer, you need to apply for a German tax number (Steuernummer) at your local Finanzamt (check the procedure in here). 

Tax ID (in German: Steuer-ID or IdNr or Steuer-IdNr or Steueridentifikationsnummer)

An Identification Number, called also National Identification Number, is a unique number issued to you by the German Taxation Office to administer tax and other German Government systems. 

Important: The tax office will send you the tax ID automatically to your registered German address within three weeks after you've done your Bürgeramt registration.

Your employer will always need the Steueridentifikationsnummer (IdNr). This number will never change!!! If you've lost it, you can apply for it here. Employees have their income tax deducted from their salary at source. If you don't receive that tax number, you will be taxed at the maximum rate possible and would have to try & claim a tax back in the future. 

Important: Most companies are doing their best to accomodate the needs of their new employees who start their new life in Germany, so they will usually wait for your tax ID and not tax you at the full rate.

The Rummelsburger Bucht - Berlin


If you saw it today, you really wouldn't believe it, but this now idyllic residential area in the East of Berlin used to be a place of repression and persecution. Like so many places in Germany, it really leaves the spectator unsuspicious to its past. It draws people in, because of its beauty and serenity. Only when you stop and look behind the new façade do you realize its historic enormity. 

Städtisches Arbeitshaus (City Workhouse) 1879 – 1933

This original complex in the Rummelsburger Bucht consisted of 19 plain brick buildings, of which 15 survived. The people interned had generally lived on the margins of society. They were homeless, beggars, tramps, prostitutes, the “work shy”, old and infirm people of disreputable characters, or men and women arrested for minor offenses. They were in the workhouse to be adjusted to societal norms through “work and corrective measures”. Opened in 1879 the institution was designed to hold 1.000 inmates, but was already overcrowded by 1887 with over 1.600 men and women registered there. Only during the Weimar Republic were conditions eased by reforms, that lowered the concentration of inmates. 

Visa requirements for Germany (forms incl.)

Want to work or study in Germany? Or just want to visit the country?

Last update: August 2015

Read the requirements below & fill in the visa application forms at the end of this article.



  • EU nationals do not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany. 
  • Non-EU nationals, generally speaking, require a visa for stays in Germany. A visa is not required for semi-annual visits of up to 90 days for nationals of those countries for which the European Community has abolished the visa requirement.
  • Schengen visa
    • never issued in Germany 
    • valid 3 months
    • valid for tourism & transit purposes or studies not lasting more than 3 months in a 6 months period.
  • EU citizens do not require any kind of visa or permits (incl. Romanian, Bulgarian & Croatian citizens):
  • As a citizen from Switzerland, Iceland (EEA) or Liechtenstein (EEA), you can also live, work and study in Germany without any visa. However, once in Germany, you may apply for a residence permit at the Ausländerbehörde in your town of residence.

    Note: The residence permit issued to Swiss nationals and their family members merely certifies the right to freedom of movement. If you are a family member of an EU or EEA citizen and therefore covered by the right to freedom of movement, you will be issued with a corresponding residence card;
  • As a citizen from Norway (EEA country), you can live, work and study in Germany without any visa or permit restriction;