Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Whodunit, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Hallo, :)

    ich suche eine gute, passende und sofort verständliche Übersetzung der deutschen Steuernummer ins Englische. Natürlich weiß ich, dass es für Großbritannien, die USA und Australien verschiedene spezifische Steuernummern gibt, aber mir geht es um den Oberbegriff für solche Nummern, die in Deutschland jeder steuerpflichtige Bürger besitzt.

    Ich habe mehrere Möglichkeiten gefunden. Vielleicht könnt ihr mir sagen, welcher Begriff euch am gängigsten ist und eventuell auch, wie eine Steuernummer in den einzelnen englischsprachigen Ländern aussieht:

    • Tax File Number
    • Tax Number
    • (Federal) Employer Identification Number
    • (Individual) Taxpayer Identification Number
    • VAT Number
    • (Federal) Tax Identification Number
    For your information, in Germany, a Steuernummer would be for example 042/213/02423, but it differes from state to state.

    Thanks in advance for your help. :)
  2. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Ich denke "Tax Number" wäre in allen Lebenslagen zumindest verständlich, auch wenn es nicht in allen Fällen die korrekte offizielle Bezeichnung sein sollte.
  3. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I would possibly say "German Tax Number" - so they know they have to adapt ...
  4. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    It's not clear to me if you want a translation for the specific German concept of Steuernummer (is it a number specific to each German individual, which is used for communication with tax authorities ?) or if you want the corresponding term that would be used in a different country (which may or may not exist, depending upon the country).

    I'm confused and I suspect that you are too. I have no idea what most of these terms are, but, for example, a VAT number is an EU concept that is applicable only to a company or corporation, wheareas an "(Individual) Taxpayer Identification Number" clearly won't be applicable to a company. Your examples seem to be confusing at least two different types of taxation.
  5. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    "Tax Number" scheint mir zu unbestimmt. Es ist unklar, ob man von etwas Persoenliches oder Geschaeftliches spricht.
  6. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    We also have a wide variation tax numbers in Germany, in case you have not noticed.

    The one mentioned in the starter post seems to be an income tax number.

    Unless you want to clearly distinguish between "Einkommenssteuer" and "Lohnsteuer" I'd go for "income tax", becaues that is basically what is is in both cases. I would not be too specific, such as using terms that refer to distinct parts of foreign coutry's tax system.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  7. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    VAT number definitely is not the correct translation as already suggested by englishman: VAT number exclusively translates to German USt (officially, while in colloquial speech it is MWSt - same difference, both USt and MWSt mean the same thing).

    I think Sepia's suggestion of "German tax number" probably would be the best choice - because an exact translation from the German term is not possible. (If more details are needed, or if the requirement would be an exact translation due to legislative reasons, it would be anyway inevitable to exactly describe what kind of "tax" this is.)
  8. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    That might fit, indeed. :thumbsup:

    I was referring to the former thing, which is understood in English-speaking countries.

    Most of the terms are explained on Wikipedia, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm not too much into financial accounting to explain and understand all of them.

    Let me explain what a Steuernummer is: If I want to open an own business, I will first have to order a Steuernummer in order to be able to pay taxes if there's income. The same thing must be done for freelancers in Germany. You cannot be employed or work as a freelancer without a Steuernummer; this would be illegal.

    You have to order the Steuernummer from the local tax authorities (Finanzamt), which holds them all. It is a process of some weeks more or less: You call them, ask for an apllication for a Steuernummer, they send you the application and this is the first time you're registered and you get the number. After that, you fill it out and send it back. If there are any questions, they'll call you, otherwise everything's clear.

    It is to meant for a private business, the so-called Ich-AG in Germany. You kind of work as a freelancer, but there's no boss and no employees.

    Right, but does the term "income tax number" exist?

    That's what I suspected. I just thought there could be some kind of number I hadn't been aware of. So, I'll go for "German tax number". :)

    Thank you everyone for your replies.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  9. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Das ist bei dem deutschen Ausdruck Steuernummer auch unbestimmt. Firmen haben ebenso eine Steuernummer, wie Privatpersonen.

    Bevor ich den Beitrag schrieb, hatte ich aber überlesen, daß nicht ein englischer Ausdruck für Steuernummer im Allgemeinen gesucht wurde, sondern einer für die deutsche Steuernummer im Besonderen. Ich würde mich jetzt Hutschi's Vorschlag "German Tax Number" anschließen wollen.
  10. bh7 Senior Member

    Limestone City
    Canada; English
    In North-American jurisdictions the number is usually known as 'Taxpayer ID' or 'Taxpayer Identification Number'. 'Taxpayer' includes any person (incl. juridical persons and trusts) who may become liable to tax. The existing Social Insurance Number (SIN), in Canada, or Social Security Number (SSN), in the USA, has been turned into a taxpayer ID for individual taxpayers (physical persons).

    There are also "business number [BN]", "partnership ID", "tax shelter ID", "employer payroll account number", "GST account number" (equiv. to the European VAT number), and others.
  11. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    Whodunit's weiterem Beitrag nach, "German Freelancer's Tax Number" ist vielleicht passender.
  12. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Das war nur ein Beispiel. Steuernummern brauchen auch Firmen und auch viele Privatpersonen.
  13. Fred_C

    Fred_C Senior Member

    What about the generic "fiscal number"?

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