3 Min.

Switching tax brackets for married couples (Steuerklassenwechsel)

The honeymoon isn't even over and the real work begins - so to speak. Because now you have to deal with the tax office.

The postman is standing at your door, he puts a flyer in your mailbox that has a huge date on it, ‘July 31st.” That’s right, there was something. Even lovers can’t avoid doing their taxes. It’s good that married couples are able to save fairly well.

After the wedding day, married couples are automatically assigned to tax bracket 4 (Steuerklasse). Under certain circumstances however, it makes more sense to select a tax bracket combination (Steuerklassenkombination) of bracket 3 and 5.

  • Did you buy a laptop or a mobile phone?

  • Did you move last year for work?

  • Did you work less than 12 months last year?

  • Was your work commute more than 30 minutes?

  • Are you married with tax class III/V?

  • Did you pursue a further education?

  • Did you receive self-employment income?

You are required to file a tax return.

Filing your tax return is worth it! You will most likely get a very high tax refund.

You can expect a high tax refund.

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Who profits from switching tax brackets (Steuerklassenwechsel)?

Employment can be very different throughout a lifetime. Sometimes, you are self-employed for 10 years and all of a sudden you find that you must work for someone else again.

Depending upon the occupation, the choice of tax bracket (Steuerklasse) can be omitted in various ways. If your spouse is employed, then they should use tax bracket 3, so you don’t pay as much income taxes to the government.

It starts to get tricky if both partners are employed by a company and are not considered self-employed. You have to individually decide which of the tax bracket combinations (Steuerklassenkombination) would be most suitable for your situation.

You can request a tax bracket change once a year. But don’t worry, regardless of which tax bracket the husband and wife chose, they normally wouldn’t have to pay more taxes later.

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When am I able to Change Tax Brackets (Steuerklassenwechsel)?

As mentioned before, you can only change your tax bracket (Steuerklasse) once a year. The request must be submitted by latest the 30th of November at your respective tax office.

In addition, the tax bracket (Steuerklasse) can only be changed again in the following cases:

  • A spouse starts a new job (after they were unemployed)
  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Spouse doesn’t receive wages from an employer anymore

You can work through any formalities quickly with the “Apply for a tax bracket change for spouses” form. Just fill it in, send it to your respective tax office and before you know it…you have time to spend with your spouse again.