How do I create a tax login

Mein Elster: This is how you prepare a tax return


Tax returns have been created exclusively via the Mein Elster portal since 2020. We explain how this works using an income tax return.

ElsterFormular is now called Mein Elster. It is a web-based application that is compatible with almost all browsers and does not require installation. Instead of the well-known forms, modern dialogues are used here.

You submit both private and commercial tax returns to the tax office via Mein Elster. In this article, we explain how the creation of a tax return via the portal basically works.

Of course, individual tax returns differ greatly from one another. Accordingly, we can and would like to provide only general and basic information on the operation of Mein Elster at this point.

  1. Prior registration required
  2. Login to
  3. Submit a new (income) tax return
  4. View drafts and submitted forms

Prior registration required

Registration is required before logging in to Mein Elster for the first time. This requires authentication, which for most users can most easily be fulfilled by means of a certificate file. How to register with Mein Elster and how to apply for a certificate file is explained in a separate manual. If you do not have access to yet, you should follow the linked instructions first.

Login to

  1. 1

    If you already have access to My Elster, log in directly to to prepare a tax return. If you use a certificate file, select the file on your computer, then enter your password and click on "Login".

Submit a new (income) tax return

  1. 1

    After logging in, Elster offers you some quick access to tax forms under "My Elster". The content that is displayed here depends on the information you provided about yourself during the registration process. You start a new tax return by calling up a suitable form. If you do not see the required form in the preselection, you can find it by clicking on "All forms".

  2. 2

    We decide at this point to submit an income tax return. To do this, we click on the "plus" symbol under "New form of income tax return, unlimited tax liability".

  3. 3

    In the next window you specify the year for which you want to submit documents and whether - depending on the type of tax return - you want to upload certain certificates in advance. For example, this could be income tax certificates for the income tax return, which speed up the completion of the process later. If available, old ElsterForms can also be uploaded. This partially leads to data transfer and can also save time.

  4. 4

    Elster then asks you which attachments you would like to transmit together with the cover sheet. You can tick all applicable systems here. But don't worry, you can also add or remove individual attachments later. Confirmed at the end with "Next".

  5. 5

    You are now in the main window of the tax return. Basically, you are in a long question-and-answer dialogue here. If you run into problems during this dialogue, the explanations behind the blue question mark will help. On the left edge of the screen you can see the structure of the open form including any attachments. You can jump from section to section with a click of the mouse - regardless of your editing progress.

    At the top of the screen you can switch back and forth between the tabs "Enter" and "Check". The check view uses a plausibility check to determine whether your information is fundamentally coherent and indicates any problems.

  6. 6

    Your entries are always saved automatically when the internet connection is active. Please note that you should never click on "Exit without saving" if this option should be displayed in a dialog.

  7. 7

    As soon as you have provided all the necessary information and the plausibility check does not produce any errors, the "Calculate tax" option appears in the "Check" tab. You can then download a non-binding preliminary calculation of your (income) tax as a PDF file and view it - just like it was formerly with ElsterFormular.

  8. 8

    You can then check all the details again in the "Send" tab and then send the form to your tax office. Since you are already logged in securely, this does not require any special authentication. You will receive a confirmation of the successful delivery by email in a timely manner. If you have chosen to receive tax assessments electronically, you will also be informed by email as soon as such a notice is available for retrieval via

  9. 9

    If your tax return requires a second form, simply select this under "All forms" after sending the first document. The above steps are then repeated. Incidentally, Mein Elster reliably transfers information already provided in other forms to other forms.

View drafts and submitted forms

  1. 1

    If you close a form before submitting it, it is important that you open it later via the menu item "My forms" and Not about creating a new form of the same type. Because the new form would then overwrite your design. So if you want to edit a draft, click on "My Forms" in the main window.

  2. 2

    Under the tab "Drafts" you can find your incomplete forms, which you can edit and then send. The "Submitted Forms" tab gives you access to the content of forms that have already been sent.

Would you like more help with the tax return? We have compared extensive tax programs that are available to you as a virtual tax advisor.

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