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In the previous blog, we looked into the process of getting a self-employment residence permit for starting Business in Germany. As a second step, one needs to obtain the Freelance Tax number as well as VAT number. In this blog we will be looking into how you can apply for Freelance Tax number in a easy way.
Taxes are mandatory in Germany for all residents and as a business person, you must include your Tax number on all invoices by law. You can find out the difference between Steuer ID and Steuer Nummer on our YouTube video.
What is a tax number (Steuernummer)?
Steuernummers are for freelancers and businesses. There are ten or eleven digits in this number, with the format “FF(F)/BBB(B)/UUU(U)/P“.
If you offer your goods or services throughout the EU, you will need to indicate your VAT Identification number (Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer) on all invoices. VAT is not required if you are a Kleinunternehmer.
3 ways to register your business with the Finanzamt (Tax office)
When you generate a bill for your income and expenses, you must include your Steuernummer (Tax number). If you’re registered in Germany, you’ll have a tax Identification number(Steuer-ID) for your personal use. Please do not confuse this with your business number. Starting a business or freelancing requires a separate Tax Identification number.
In order to gain your tax number, you need to register your business with the Finanzamt and you will receive your tax number within 2 to 6 weeks. Some ways to register are :
Online with ELSTER
For business tax numbers, fill out the “Fragebogen zu steuerlichen erfassung”(Tax registration questionnaie) form. The Finanzamt will require these details to be submitted electronically beginning Jan 1, 2021. This can be accomplished using ELSTER. The process is completely in German. To log in to the Elster website, you need an Elster certificate. ELSTER may be difficult to use if you are a non-German speaker.
A tax consultant can usually handle this task in just a few minutes, but it can be a little expensive. If you’d like to connect with one, you can book an appointment here.
Online with SORTED.
There is also an easier and quicker way to apply for a tax number online with Sorted. You fill out all your personal details and submit them online. Sorted uses the ELSTER interface and submits the documents to finanzamt FREE OF CHARGE.
Required documents for getting your tax number
All supporting documentation must be submitted, e.g. copies of contracts, along with the completed form. In some cases, a Certificate of Registration (Handelsregisterauszug) is also attached.
The questionnaire must be signed by you. Additionally, various forms of documentation should be copied and archived. The tax office will assign you a tax number (Steuernummer) after 2 to 4 weeks, which must always be included in any correspondence with the office.
What happens to your tax number if you move?
A new tax number will be assigned if you move residences and your local tax office changes (this is different from your tax ID, which stays the same). You will receive a tax number when you file your first tax return, if you do not already have one. A joint number is assigned to married couples who choose to be assessed together.
If you found this blog helpful, feel free to contact our Vanakkam Germany team if you are interested in setting up a freelancing or business in Germany. Also, we provide consultation in many other areas. Click here to book an appointment with us! If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact us on our socials.