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Tax categories (wage tax)

Employees are classified into tax categories for the wage tax deduction. The tax category is particularly important when it comes to determining the wage tax deduction amount. It depends on your marital status and whether the wage tax deduction is for your primary or another employment contract.

The information below will explain which (wage) tax category applies to you. The Amt24 process descriptions will tell you how to switch or change your tax category.

Tax category I

Applies to employees who are single, living in a registered civil partnership, divorced, widowed or married, unless they fall under tax category II, III or IV.

Tax category II

Applies to the employees mentioned in tax category I if they are entitled to the single parents allowance.

Tax category III

Applies, upon request, to married employees and partners in a registered civil partnership if both spouses / partners reside in Germany, are not living permanently apart, and

  • the employee’s spouse / partner does not earn a wage, or
  • the other spouse/partner also earns a wage, but is classified under tax category V upon request by both spouses;

and to widowed employees, for the calendar year following that of the spouse’s / partner’s death if both were residing in Germany, and were not living permanently apart, on the day of death.

Tax category IV

Applies to married employees and partners in a registered civil partnership if both spouses/partners earn a wage, reside in Germany, and are not living permanently apart.

Tax category V

Applies to one of the spouses/partners instead of tax category IV if, at both parties’ request, the other spouse / partner is classified under tax category III.

Tax category VI

Applies to employees receiving multiple wages from more than one employer, in order for wage tax to be withheld for the second and any additional employment contracts.

Tip:  For more information on wage tax categories, choosing tax categories for employee spouses, and on the factor process which has been available since 2010, consult the "Wage tax – A brief guide for wage taxpayers" information booklet and the "Leaflet on choosing tax categories for employee spouses" at

More information (german):

Related topics:

  • Change to wage tax category after permanent separation (or divorce or annulment of civil partnership
  • Changes to the wage tax category upon marriage or establishment of a civil partnership

  • Change to wage tax category during marriage or civil partnership (for spouses or partners not permanently living apart)
    Amt24 process descriptions

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