Curious about how your tax choices affect your salary? If you're married and use tax classes 3 and 5, there are big changes ahead. In this article, we'll explain tax classes simply and tell you what these changes mean for your monthly income. Discover how this might impact your finances and why it matters to stay informed. Keep reading to find out what's happening to your paycheck!


Tax classes play a significant role in determining how much of your hard-earned money lands in your bank account each month. In Germany, tax classes 3 and 5 have been popular choices for married couples seeking to minimize their monthly tax obligations. However, recent developments suggest that these tax classes may soon be subject to significant changes. In this blog post, we'll explore the proposed reforms and their potential impact on married couples' finances.

The Planned Reforms

The Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany is currently working on a new law to reform tax classes. The goal is to strengthen partnership responsibility and economic independence for all types of families. One major change on the horizon is the integration of tax classes 3 and 5 into the factor procedure of tax class 4, making it simpler and more equitable.

The Current Options

Currently, married couples and registered civil partnerships have the flexibility to choose between several tax class combinations, with 3/5 and 4/4 being the most common. Tax class 3 is typically chosen by the higher-earning partner, while the other partner selects tax class 5. The benefits of the higher earner often offset the higher deductions of the partner in tax class 5.
However, it's important to note that the exact tax calculation is only finalized during the annual tax return. This means that even if you don't choose the optimal tax class combination, you can still adjust the balance through your tax return.

The Factor Procedure

There's another interesting change coming. If you currently use the 3/5 tax class combination, both partners will be moved to tax class 4 with something called the "factor procedure." This means the tax office will reduce the deducted income tax using a special factor they calculate based on your expected income tax.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The primary motivation behind these tax class reforms is to bring the deducted wage tax closer to the actual amount due, reducing the likelihood of significant discrepancies in the annual tax return. While this sounds promising, there are potential downsides.
For instance, in scenarios where only one partner is employed, the reform may result in a lower monthly net income. However, this could be offset by a larger tax refund during the annual income tax return or a reduction in significant additional payments.


While these proposed tax class reforms aim to create a fairer system and reduce tax discrepancies, they may have varying consequences for different couples' financial situations. It's important to stay informed about these changes as they develop, but as of now, there is no set timeline for their implementation. Keep an eye on updates from the Federal Ministry of Finance to make informed decisions about your tax class in the future.