Apr 22, 2016

Letting Germany know you

The residency declaration

Registering your new residency (Anmeldung) is quite straightforward. The name of the public office is not the same in every German city. For example, the Anmeldung for Stuttgart can be done in any Burgerbüro (no matter where you live in the city). Please note that you should perform the Anmeldung within two weeks from your relocation. The actual form is rather simple, as it about your and your family’s personal data (e.g., name, date and place of birth, identification document data, etc.). Here are three things that you should remember before doing your Anmeldung:

  1. Bring all family-related certificates than you have. Are you married? Bring your marriage certificate. Do you have kids? Bring a certificate. Are you dead? Bring a certificate. Bring your renting contract, although there is a chance that you won’t be asked to show it. The reason why is the next point.
  2. Bring your landlord’s declaration of occupancy (Bestätigung des Wohnungsgebers). It must be signed by your landlord.
  3. If you declare yourself as a member of a religion (as far as I know, this concerns the major Christian and Jewish beliefs), there is a high change that you will owe the church tax (Kirchensteuer), which is a very expensive tax. More information can be obtained here. If you declare yourself atheist (konfessionslos), no taxes are owed. There is still the possibility of declaring yourself atheist in the future (Kirchenaustritt). However, this would imply a formal exit from your Church. More information are available here.

Requested documents:
– Identification documents for all the people relocating (ID card or passport).
Landlord’s declaration of occupancy (Bestätigung des Wohnungsgebers).
Renting contract (Wohnraummietvertrag) (often not requested).
– Marriage certificates, birth certificates (if needed).

Issued documents:
– A proof of registration (Meldebestätigung). You should always have it with you for performing several bureaucracy-related tasks, such as requesting a tax number, opening a bank account (or releasing a bank account’s full functionality), insurances, etc.

The tax ID number

Germany uses a unique number to identify citizens when performing tasks such as tax declaration. This tax ID number is called steuerliche Identifikationsnummber (also known as IdNr and ID-Merkmal), and it is an 11 digits number. The IdNr is not to be confused with the Steuernummer, which is a tax “VAT” number for freelancers. Your employer needs to know your IdNr. Obtaining this number is also easy. Either you wait it to be mailed at your registered home address in Germany, or you go to the tax authority office (Finanzamt), where they will communicate the IdNr to you. Please note that the Finanzamt will be able to retrieve your IdNr only a couple of working days after your residency registration (Anmeldung).

Requested documents:
– Identification documents for all the people wanting to know their IdNr
– A proof of registration (Meldebestätigung) (not always requested)

Issued documents:
– Basically, a screenshot of a program showing your basic data, including the IdNr.

written by dgraziotin

Dr. Daniel Graziotin received his PhD in computer science, software engineering at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. His research interests include human aspects in empirical software engineering with psychological measurements, Web engineering, and open science. He researches, publishes, and reviews for venues in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and psychology. Daniel is the founder of the psychoempirical software engineering discipline and guidelines. He is associate editor at the Journal of Open Research Software, academic editor at the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal, and academic editor at the Open Communications in Computer Science journal. He is the local coordinator of the Italian Open science local group for the Open Knowledge Foundation. He is a member of ACM, SIGSOFT, and IEEE.

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