What has changed in tax for married couples since 2020!

Until now, the tax class could only be changed once a year – from 2020, new regulations will apply to married couples and registered life partners. For example, this can be an advantage before parental leave.

Married workers can influence their net wages by choosing the tax bracket. Since the turn of the year 2020, they have been able to change tax classes several times a year.

In the past, this was only possible once per calendar year. The advantage of the change: “This allows tax classes to adapt to changing living conditions more quickly,” explains Isabel Klocke from the taxpayers’ association.

Tax class can be combined differently

Background: Married couples and registered life partners can combine tax classes III to V in different ways. In tax class IV the income tax subtracted like a single. This is recommended if both partners earn approximately the same amount. On the other hand, if one earns much more than the other, the tax class combination III / V makes sense.

Another option is to use the factor method. The Tax office On request, determines a factor based on the couple’s specific income. Through him, the splitting process already reduces tax on income tax deduction. If a partner has more than one job, he still only has a choice with the first one: The second and each further employment relationship is taxed according to tax class VI, from which the wage tax deduction is the highest.

Lasting effect only with tax return

The bottom line is that for married couples it does not make a tax difference which tax class they choose. “Because the tax is only calculated exactly with the income tax return – regardless of the income tax class,” explains Klocke.

The tax assessment may then result in a reimbursement because too much wage tax has been deducted – or, conversely, the tax office requires an additional payment. The tax classes therefore only affect the monthly net wages.

Net wages affect the amount of unemployment benefit

However, the net wage may be important for the calculation of earnings or substitute benefits such as unemployment, sickness or parental allowance. Therefore, it makes sense for spouses and registered partners to regularly review their tax class selection and, if necessary, optimize it by making a change, recommends Klocke. For example, if a partner gets a raise, wants to shorten their working hours, is planning parental leave or is expected to lose their job.

In principle, the new tax bracket will be taken into account from the month after the application.

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