How to ask for a tax number?
In order to become a freelancer and pay taxes, one has to have a magical number — the freelance tax number ( Steuernummer für Freiberufler ). You may already have one tax number ( Steueridentifikationsnummer ), but do not let German bureaucracy fool you —this one is different. This is the number to put on all your invoices. Without it, you cannot bill your clients in Germany. To get this number you need to feel in an eight-pages-long form — Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung . You can download a form or pick it up at the local Finanzamt . In about four weeks after submission, your tax number will arrive at your postbox. Now you are ready to get paid for your work!
How much tax do I pay?
As a small entrepreneur, you can forget about VAT, but there is still income tax ( Einkommensteuer ) to pay. This is the difference between your gross ( brutto ) and your net ( netto ) salary. Your employer was separating it for you before, from now on, small entrepreneur, you have to do it yourself. Germany has a progressive tax scale which means that tax is ranging from 0 to 45% depending on your income. On top of that, 5,5% solidarity surcharge is added. All that combined is your income tax.
Income tax table for 2017