What is the Tax Identification Number (TIN)?

The Tax Identification Number is an eleven-digit nationwide identification number assigned to every individual registered in Germany for tax purposes. It is often referred to as TIN (Tax Identification Number). The identification number is immutable, unique, and permanent. Every citizen registered in Germany receives a personal identification number once in their lifetime, which remains unchanged throughout their life.

Was ist die Identifikationsnummer / TIN?

Why Do I Need a Tax Identification Number?

The Tax Identification Number was introduced in 2007 to enhance the efficiency of tax authorities and provide them with better control capabilities. The tax identification number / TIN allows all tax-relevant information and transactions to be unequivocally linked to an individual. This is particularly crucial for electronic data transmission.

All citizens registered in Germany require a tax identification number to communicate with tax authorities. This personal number is needed for a variety of important matters, including:

  • Reporting a new employment relationship
  • Submitting an electronic tax return
  • Applying for benefits such as child allowance or retirement
  • Requesting exemption orders
  • Sending communications to tax authorities

The Tax Identification Number thus is essential, because only by using it can tax authorities attribute these matters to a specific individual.

Do I Need to Apply for the Tax Identification Number?

A tax identification number is automatically assigned to every individual registered in Germany. Active application is not required. Newborns automatically receive correspondence from the Federal Central Tax Office after their birth is reported. The same applies to foreigners who are registering their residence in Germany for the first time.

For those looking for their personal tax identification number, it can be found on the income tax assessment or on the wage tax certificate provided by the employer.

Can I Retrieve the Tax ID Online?

To inquire about the tax identification number, individuals can contact the Federal Central Tax Office. However, they cannot provide information about tax identification numbers over the phone due to data protection regulations. Nevertheless, it is possible to request this information online.

Individuals who have lost or cannot locate their tax identification number can also contact the tax office to retrieve their tax identification number. To do so, they need to enter the required information, and the office will send the tax ID to the current registered address. During this process, citizens should expect a processing time of up to three months.

What Is the Difference Between the Tax Number and Tax ID?

As mentioned above, the Tax ID is a permanent and nationwide identifier for individuals residing in Germany. In contrast, the tax number is an identifier for the tax office determined by the taxpayer's place of residence. It is assigned by the respective tax office and can change if an individual relocates or changes their assigned tax office.

How Do I Apply for a Tax ID for My Child?

Parents do not need to apply for identification numbers for their children. Once the birth is reported to the authorities, the Federal Central Tax Office automatically takes action and assigns a unique tax identification number to the new citizen.

Typically, parents receive a letter with the child's personal identification number a few days after the child's birth, which remains valid throughout their lifetime. For immigrants, a tax identification number is assigned after the first registration in Germany.


We would like to point out that our website provides non-binding information, which under no circumstances constitutes legal advice. This also, and especially, applies to topics within the sphere of legal HR advise. The content of this contribution cannot and is not intended to replace individual and binding legal advice. For this reason, all information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness, but always researched with the utmost care.

HRlab Logo

Flexible All-in-One HR Software For Medium-Sized Companies


© 2024, HRlabImprintPrivacy
Play Store HRlabApp Store HRlab