Paying your taxes

Paid employment

If you have a contract of employment with Saarland University or one of the on-campus research institutes, you will pay regular tax and social insurance contributions. About six to eight weeks after registering at the Residents' Registration Office (Bürgeramt), you will be sent a letter with your tax identification number (TIN), which you should communicate to the university's Human Resources Department. The amount of tax you pay will depend on the amount you earn, your marital status and your tax bracket. Income tax is withheld by Saarland University as your employer and transferred directly to the tax authorities. To prevent foreigners simultaneously paying tax in both Germany and their home country, Germany has double taxation agreements with several countries. To find information about your country, please go to the Federal Ministry of Finance website.

Grants and scholarship

Scholarships and grants are generally tax-free if the following conditions are met: They must be paid by public institutions and must be aimed at promoting research work or supporting further scientific and academic training and they must not exceed the amount necessary to cover the cost of living.

Church tax

If you are gainfully employed and you belong to a church that is officially recognized in Germany, you will have to pay church tax. Officially recognized churches include the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches and the Jewish religious community. Members of the Eastern Orthodox churches or the Muslim religious community do not pay church tax. If you are a member of a church, you must specify the church to which you belong when registering at the Residents' Registration Office. Church tax is charged at a rate of about 9% of your income tax.

Filing an annual tax return

By submitting an annual tax return to your local tax office by no later than 31 May, you may be able to claim back part of the income tax you paid in the preceding year. In rare cases you may have paid insufficient tax on your earnings, in which case you will be requested to pay the shortfall. Filing a tax return is particularly advisable if you have not worked for a full year in Germany. You can also complete the German tax forms from your home country if you have already returned home. Once the tax office has processed your tax return, you will be issued with a tax assessment notice (Steuerbescheid) stating the size of your tax refund.



Saarbrücken Campus
Building A4 4
Phone: +49 681 302-71122

Office hours:
Every day from 09:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.