The Federal Central Tax Office; Bundeszentralamt für Steuern or simply BZSt issues a unique tax identification number to everybody who’s registered in Germany.
In order to handle the taxes of each registered person in Germany, the BZSt introduced a centralised system in 2007 replacing the old tax identification method.
Every registered person regardless of a citizen or expat including newborns receives a Steueridentifikationsnummer or tax ID.
You need to submit your tax ID to your employer in order to pay your salary and calculate the tax.
As per the German tax laws and tax classes, you have to pay the highest tax if you don't have a tax ID.
How to get a Steueridentifikationsnummer - Tax ID in Germany
Getting a tax ID is not a big task. In fact, your tax ID will automatically be processed and issued as soon as you register in Germany.
Two to three weeks after you register in Germany, you’ll receive your tax ID via post.
The Federal Central Tax Office has created a great amount of articles and guidelines on their website to help you resolve all queries related to tax ID. Please check the articles for more information.
I don't know my tax ID; how do I find it?
If you already have a tax ID, and you forgot it, you can find it
On your salary slips (payslip)
On your income tax report
On the document you got from the Tax department (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern), when you registered your address for the first time
I lost my tax ID. How do I get a new one?
You normally do not get a new tax ID. However, if you have lost the letter you received from Bundeszentralamt für Steuern or cannot find the tax ID in any of the above documents, you can visit the nearest Finanzamt with your residence permit or passport and ask them. They will get you a printout with your tax ID in it.