Uniform Tax Identification Number Being Introduced

Since July 1, 2007, everyone has been receiving a personal and uniform tax identification number (TIN) from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Office for Taxes) pursuant to §139b AO. The government aims to tackle misuse of welfare and tax evasion. This TIN will replace the previous tax number and consists of eleven digits that relate to your name, address, sex, birth date and place of birth and the competent tax office. Self-employed persons will receive a second TIN, the business identification number (§139c AO). Not only physical but also juristic persons (e.g. GmbH) and non-incorporated associations will receive a TIN.

The practical relevance of a TIN is that with status change or relocation of residence, you will not need to apply for a new tax number – as was the case before. Besides this, different offices can directly synchronize their data.

The Federal Central Office for Taxes collects and saves following data from physical persons:

  1. identification number,
  2. business identification number,
  3. last name / surname,
  4. any previous names,
  5. first and middle names,
  6. academic degrees,
  7. date and place of birth,
  8. sex,
  9. previous and last known address,
  10. competent tax offices,
  11. date of death


The TIN always begins with “DE”. The Federal Central Office for Taxation collects following data from juristic persons and non-incorporated associations:

  1. business identification number,
  2. ID details of legal representatives,
  3. company’s/business name (§§17 ff. HGB),
  4. previous business names,
  5. legal form,
  6. commercial branch number,
  7. municipality’s official number,
  8. site according to §11 AO, especially site of management,
  9. date of founding,
  10. entry into commercial registry (register court, date and number of entry),
  11. date of commencing business or founding company/association,
  12. date of closing business or closing date closing operation,
  13. date of dissolution,
  14. date of deletion in registry,
  15. combined companies,
  16. competent tax offices.

You do not have your old number replaced yet? What to do about it? Nothing! This is a purely bureaucratic task. Once it is your turn to receive the TIN, you will and until then you will use your previous numbers.