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