4 Steps to leave the German Church

How to leave the German Church?

Last update: October 2019
Church Tax

Do you have enough of paying Church Tax each month?

If you do not want to pay Church Tax of 8 or 9%, you need to leave the German Church as soon as possible. Not ticking the Church Tax box in your Tax ID application form (former Tax Card) may just be enough to avoid it, but it is no guarantee.

Here is the procedure for leaving the church for tax purposes

Ask the "Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug" (for 2010 or 2011) in original version from your employer (see screenshot below). As from 2012, the Tax ID number is electronic so no need to request it anymore.

Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug
Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug 

Depending on where you live in Germany, you have to go either to the Amtsgericht (Local Court) or to the Standesamt (Civil Registry). 

Only your passport/ID and your Anmeldebestätigung (proof of registration) are needed. In case you are married or have been married, you would need to bring the Heiratsurkunde (certificate of marriage). 

The fees are varying between 0 - 60€, depending on where you live in Germany. In Berlin, it is still free of charges (but not for much long). 

After a few minutes, you will get the Austrittsbescheinigung in 2 copies (proof of leaving the church - see screenshot below). You need to sign 1 of the copies and keep the 2nd version with you forever as the administration deletes all your personal data every 10 years! Following this you yourself are required to provide proof.


Bring the signed paper from the Amtsgericht and the "Bescheinigung für den Lohnsteuerabzug" to your local Finanzamt and ask to be de-registered from the church tax. 

Bring a copy of the Austrittsbescheinigung (Amtsgericht proof) to your employer to avoid being charged. It can take up to 3 months for your files to be updated by the Finanzamt!


You are no longer part of the German Church! myGermanExpert wishes you good luck! :-)

German Church Tax



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