International Office

Taxes for researchers

If you have a permanent or temporary residence status in Germany, you are required to pay income tax in Germany. If you do not have a residence status in Germany but carry out your professional activity in Germany, you may still be required to pay income tax.

Taxation of scholarships

In some cases scholarships can be exempt from taxation in Germany. However you should find out whether your scholarship paid in Germany will be taxed in your home country.

It is advisable to consult with your scholarship provider to find out which apply in your case.

Taxes and employment contracts

Your liable taxes are deducted directly from your salary and paid to the tax office by your employer as so-called wage tax.

In Germany, there are the following tax classes:

  • Tax class I: Single persons
  • Tax class II: Single parents
  • Tax class III/V: Married persons (application required)
  • Tax class IV: Married couples who both choose class IV
  • Tax class VI: Professionals with multiple employment relationships

The tax class is determined by means of your tax identification number.

You will receive your tax identification number by mail after your first registration in Germany. Please keep your tax identification number on file, and inform the personnel department of your number as soon as you receive it.

Tax return

If you have paid taxes in Germany, you have the option to file an income tax return with the tax office of the city in which you live. Under certain circumstances, some of your paid taxes may be refunded.

In some cases, there is an obligation to file an income tax return, for example, if you and your spouse have chosen the tax bracket combination III/V.

Please obtain information from your tax office or seek the assistance of a tax advisor before filing a tax return.

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