Employees check your Personal Details with Tax Office

Listen all ye employees! ELStAM is on its way! Check your tax details!

 What sounds so dramatic is actually only the call to double-check what the tax office knows of you. If you are a family with two gorgeous children but the tax office only knows you as single – that creates a big hole into your wallet.

It is all about the fiscal administration going electronic. ELStAM (elektronische LohnSteuerAbzugsMerkmale or electronic details for wage tax deduction) has been introduced now. This goes back to the eGovernment directive. Details that were previously to be found on a paper card, aka as tax card, are now to be administered in a database. As the disaster with the Schönefeld airport proves yet again, Germans do everything perfect – be it for good or bad. Chances are that when creating this Germany wide database, data might have become screwed-up in the process. Everybody, i.e. employees, employers, and fiscal administration, is to retrieve this data without the previous paper handling.

How to access the saved data and determine whether it is correct?

You have to register once and free of cost at Elster-Online-Portal – for data protection reasons. In order to do so, you need your personal tax identification number. The only persons eligible to retrieve your data will be the fiscal administration, your current employer, and you. The government hopes to prevent a lot of friction when you register online. For the sake of data protection nobody may enquire your data per telephone. Correcting your data at your local tax office is possible but not appreciated.

What to do with incorrect data?

In the event that your data is incorrect because some dude mistyped your name, or your marital status has changed, you need to apply for correction at your local tax office. Of course, you can ask your tax consultant to help you with this.

Which Finanzamt is competent for me?

This is a bit complicated when living in bigger cities with many different offices with decentralized or centralized competence. The Federal Center for Taxes provides a search engine which will provide a list of any and all offices in your municipality. You will have to consider your street and Einkommenssteuer. To start you will need to know your zip code. If you don’t know it, either ask your neighbor or try this link.