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Living in Europe, Leaving EuropeDay care, schooling & family related issues, Departure conditions/formalitiesGermany

Child allowance


Child allowance is usually paid when the applicant is domiciled or usually resident in Germany. In addition, the child must be domiciled or normally resident in Germany or another EU member state.

Your situation can change during your stay abroad when compared to what it was when you left Germany. In principle, entitlement to child benefit pursuant to the German Income Tax Act ("Einkommensteuergesetz") is coupled with a continued obligation to pay income tax. Conversely, the unlimited obligation to pay income tax depends on a number of factors, and specifically on your residence in Germany and usual place of residence. Whether your residence or stay in Germany is ongoing is normally based on whether family members residing in your household remain in Germany during your stay abroad or, alternatively, upon the retention of your residence in Germany and its continuous availability.

Under certain conditions, entitlement may also be retained if the unlimited obligation to pay income tax in Germany no longer applies. This is the case if:

  • you are or your spouse is required to pay compulsory insurance contributions by the German Federal Employment Agency ("Bundesagentur für Arbeit"),
  • you are or your spouse ais employed as a development aid worker or missionary, or
  • you are or your spouse is employed in a facility outside of Germany according to provisions of the German civil service legislation, or
  • you receive or your spouse receives a pension according to German regulations.

In addition, the child for whom the child benefit is claimed must reside or normally be resident in Germany or another EU member state.

Applications must be made in writing to the local Family Office  responsible.

You are also required to inform the appropriate authority in writing of any changes that would impact the reciept of child benefit. Pursuant to § 68 para. 1 sentence 1 of the German Income Tax Act ("Einkommensteuergesetz"), the child benefit authorities must be notified if:

  • you or another entitled person (e.g. your spouse) is deployed abroad by a German employer, or
  • you, your spouse and/or one or more of your children move abroad, even if this is temporary.

Failing to provide notification and continuing to claim child benefit despite no longer meeting the entitlement criteria may constitute a crime.


Further information