New in 2012: the end of the Lohnsteuerkarte (maybe)

Lohnsteuerkarte 2010At the beginning of 2011 I wrote about how the Lohnsteuerkarte was going to be replaced by an electronic system, the ELStAM, and for the past 12 months anyone arriving in Germany has no longer received their Lohnsteuerkarte on arrival when they register at the Einwohnermeldeamt, but instead has had to apply for written confirmation of their tax status at the tax office (Finanzamt).

But during the course of the year the starting date for the new system has been pushed back a number of times, and now it may even not come into force until the beginning of 2013!

Apparently there have been technical problems in implementing the system, but also quite a bit of the data that had been imported into it appears to have been wrong, leaving me wondering how this can happen if it is using the same data as was last used to print the tax cards.

This is pretty embarrassing for the German Government, considering that one of their other major IT projects – ELENA – was scrapped only a few weeks ago.

So for the time being, the 2010 cards (issued in September 2009) remain valid for anyone working in Germany and should be handed in when starting a new job, and returned when leaving a job (except for some mini-jobs”).  Under the new system, employees would just have to name their tax ID, the new Steuer-Identifikationsnummer.

For now, anyone entering the job market for the first time, eg. by moving to Germany, will still have to go to their local Finanzamt to apply for written confirmation of their tax status.

And anyone changing their tax class, eg. by getting married, will also have to go there to have their cards amended.

So watch this space (eg. sign up to our newsletter or RSS feed) to see if I’ll be announcing the new system on this site at the end of 2012, or whether my article will be called “The Same Procedure as Last Year?”


Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner
About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

Speak Your Mind


Please click on ACCEPT to give us permission to set cookies [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details or to revoke permission.