Jaroslav Plotnikov

IT Freelance in Germany: Registration in ELSTER – Part 2

Now the activation code has arrived by regular mail. This article tells you how I completed the registration

Figure A

Read in Russian – ПО-РУССКИ

The first 7 steps were explained in the registration in ELSTER PART 1. As a 7th step I had to click on the link in the email sent by the tax office. This requested the activation data. At the same time, the second email from portal@elster.de has arrived. The subject was: Mein ELSTER: Aktivierung Ihres Benutzerkontos (s. fig. 1)


Figure B

Usually you wait up to 2 weeks for the letter with activation data. But already after 7 days, exactly from Tuesday to Tuesday, I found the letter in my postbox (figure B). There was the activation code (changed for data protection reasons): 4T6V-KL5B-MNUS* In addition, there was the user name I previously specified: Benutzername: JP

Now I could complete the registration.


Completing the Elster registration

To complete the registration in ELSTER you need to do the following 5 steps.



Figure 1


Open the email from portal@elster.de and click on the link (the first link on fig. 1).

ELSTER builds up in your Internet browser (figure A).

In the first box, enter the activation ID from the previous email. This is a number of 18 digits. 

Enter the activation code in the second box. This is the combination of numbers and letters. You can find them in the letter (figure B).

Click on Absenden.

Parts of the email (fig. 1) explaining step 1

You will need the activation ID for the second step of registration together with the activation code, which you will receive separately by post. Therefore, please keep this e-mail up until you have received the letter with the activation code
Username: JP 
Aktivierungs-ID: 123569473864733459* 

After you have received the letter with your personal activation code, please follow the next step of registration at https://www.elster.de/eportal/registrierung-auswahl/aktivierung/JP0 

Please note that registration in My ESTER must be completed by 11:47 a.m. on 16.08.2018**. If you have not received a letter with activation code within 14 days, please contact the Technical Tax Office Berlin, Central Office ElsterOnline, e-mail: elsteronline@steuerverwaltung.berlin.de, FAX: 030/ 90 20 28 99 99, stating your identification number***, the above-mentioned user name and your telephone number.
If you register from abroad, delivery may be delayed due to the longer delivery time.



Next step – set the password. It must be at least 6 characters.

The name of the certificate file is ready, but the file itself has not yet been created. Click on the blue button Erstellen.

Certificate file is being created (Zertifikatsdatei wird erstellt). 

Caption: Move the mouse to make the activation file even more secure (Bewegen Sie die Maus um die …).

Hey, security specialists, does anybody know if there’s any real sense in moving that mouse? Does the mouse movement really increase the safety of the process?



Figure 3.1

Hint for storage

You need the downloaded certificate file every time you log in. Therefore, be sure to check where it was saved by the browser. Save the certificate file to a location where you can find it. Click on the blue button Zertifikatsdatei herunterladen to download the certificate file. 


Figure 3.2


Caption: Select the certificate file you just downloaded and enter your password.



Figure 4


Erstmaliges Login. Mein Profil ergänzen (First login. Completing the profile)
Here I hardly needed to add anything – most of my data was already there. I didn’t enter my phone number.

In general, I try to give as little as possible to the officials. Why? I prefer written communication with the officials. It allows you always to know exactly what was said and what wasn’t. It makes me feel better protected. So my advice: if possible, keep the official communication by email or at least via letters. Not by phone.

In the section Steuernummer (tax number) I have selected my federal state (Bundesland: Berlin) and entered my tax number 16 / 473 / 00735. The last box is also empty, because at the moment I manage my taxes myself and don’t need a tax consultant. That’s why my office remains empty.

To continue click on the blue button  Mein Profil speichern und weiter.



Figure 5.1


Welcher Benutzergruppe gehören Sie am ehesten an?

Select your group. As a freelancer you are a member of the group private person. Click on Privatperson. Alternatively you can select Später auswählen (Select later).


Figure 5.2

Wichtige Hinweise (important notes)

(For your information only):

Belege einreichen? Nicht mehr nötig! (Submit receipts? No longer necessary!)

From the income tax return for 2017 onwards, you no longer need to send receipts to your tax office. It is enough to keep them in case we have any additional questions.

Further information is available here (PDF).

Datenschutzhinweis der Steuerverwaltung (Tax Administration Data Protection Notice)

The endless blabla about data protection. If you need more information, click on the Informationen zum Datenschutz.

What to do? Set the two checkmarks and click on Bestätigen und Weiter


Now you are in the main menu


Logging out


Confirmation logout

Thanks for your visit.

For security reasons, we recommend that you close the browser after using ELSTER, not use it to visit other sites on the Internet and clear the cache of your browser . This note applies in particular if you use ELSTER not from home but from a public place (e.g. Internet café).


* – The identification numbers and activation code for data protection reasons are randomly imagined, but they correspond to the number of digits and the spelling.
** – that means within 100 days
*** – see the article Steuer-ID or Steueridentifikationsnummer – what is that?

© 2018 Jaroslav Plotnikov ( All articles )

Copy & paste: jaroslavplotnikov.com/elster-2


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