Child allowance is usually paid when the applicant is domiciled or normally resident in Germany. In addition, the child must be domiciled or normally resident in Germany or another EU member state.
Your situation can well change during your stay abroad 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 on 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 or your spouse are/is required to pay compulsory insurance contributions by the German Federal Employment Agency ("Bundesagentur für Arbeit"),
- you or your spouse are/is employed as a development aid worker or missionary, or
- you or your spouse are/is employed in a facility outside of Germany according to provisions of the German civil service legislation, or
- you or your spouse receive/s a pension according to the 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.
The need for the written form also applies for notifications of changes. 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.
- Child allowance
Overview of the most important regulations on child allowance
German Federal Employment Agency
- Child allowance for Germans resident abroad
Links to calculators for computing parental allowance, parental leave, child allowance
Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
- Family benefits system (child allowance)
Persons entitled to child allowance, statistical data
Federal Central Tax Office