Peter Scheller
Berater für Wirtschaftsprüfer, Rechtsanwälte, Steuer- und Unternehmensberater

„Wenn es knifflig wird.“

Taxation of spouses in Germany

von Peter Scheller

Taxation of spouses in Germany

In Germany resident spouses will be jointly assessed for income tax purposes unless they opt for seperate assessment. Joint assessment decreases the tax burden if one spouse’s income is highrer than that of the other spouse. If a spouse qualifies for special deductions or allowance these can be deducted from the joint tax base.

The joint assessment requires that both spouses are tax resident in Germany. However, a German resident who is citizen of an EU- or EEA-memberstate can opt for joint assessment if his or her spouse is resident in another EU-memberstate or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Example: A is a UK-citizen who lives and works in Germany. His wife lives in the UK. He has a salary of 140,000 €. His income after deductions and allowance is 120,000 €. The spouses do not have any other income.

A has to pay about 44,500 € if he chooses single assessment. Joint assessment leads to a tax burden of about 35,800 €.

Note: Income tax assessment is different from all self-assessment systems. For more information click here.

Author: Peter Scheller, German Tax Adviser – Master of International Taxation



Kommentar von Roshan Gembali |


I am Roshan Gembali, an expat from India working in Berlin. I have worked in Marley Spoon and Made For_ Gmbh as Finance Manager in the year 2018 with total income around 41000 after changing a job in July.
Further, I got married in 2018 December 24th and my wife(also indian national who is not working) is registered in Berlin in July 2019. I want to change my tax class and also see the possibility of having a tax refund for the married period.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Kommentar von Hennel |

With the brexit, is the situation the same? I might move from the uk (I am however French) to Germany but my wife and children would stay in uk. Can I be in category 3?
Than you very much

Antwort von Peter Scheller

This depends on you and your famailies overal situation. To investigate it you may ask a tax adviser.

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