We are one step before to make a tax declaration for 2019 or even previous years. To do that all online, we will need an ELSTER account. Here are three easy steps to create a user account:
When we have a user account for a specific system, requirement is most of the time similar: a username and a password. On the other hand, user account is a little bit bizarre. You will indeed need a password but you will have to use a certificate file (will be created during registration) instead of username. There are other options of course to sign in to ELSTER system:
- Using your eAT (elektronische Aufenthaltstitel) (residence permit): you will need a card-reader and the official application for electronic cards. You can buy an approved card reader around 60€. There are recommendations in the official page. Here is an example device: ACS ACR1281U. (eBay link)
- Using electronic signature which is basically a USB stick you have to buy. The price for that is also around 60 €. Here is the official page for that.
All of the above options require at least 60€ of payment. We will here explain the one which is easiest and free. Let’s start with first step:
Go to this secure link. You will see this:
First option here is if you are an individual (even if you are married and have joint assessments). Second option is if you have company, society etc. In our case we are individuals. Choose that one and click “Weiter”. Next screen:
You will now have to give a valid e-mail address. (Note: it must be correct e-mail so you can later on validate). Your birthday and your Identifiationsnummer. They will know your address from that number. If you have changed your adress recently and haven’t informed the authorities yet, then we would recommend you to do so.
In the same page also:
You will have to give a username and security question. Also:
Here saying that, if you go further, you will receive an Activation-Id by email and an Activation-Code by post. Click “Ich bestatige..” and click “Weiter”.
You will know receive an email. Please check your email and follow the link. You will see that Bestatigung der E-Mail-Adresse is now confirmed.
What is next is the “Activation-Code” which will be sent by post. This may take up to 2-3 weeks. Don’t worry (of course if you put your Identifiationsnummer correctly). After receiving this letter you can follow the email you have received and you will be returned to this page back: (you will also receive another post with it.)
There you can now give the code in the letter you have received along with the other things (password etc.) and generate a Zertifikatsdatei. A file like
Please download this file and keep it secure. If you lose it, you can use the other letter you became to generate a new one.
That’s it. Go to login page, choose your login option (Zertifikatsdatei in our case), upload your file, enter your password and click Login.