Property tax: Who must file another tax return
The size of the property tax should be recalculated. Homeowners should report data to the IRS online. A guide.
- Millions of people in Germany must be prepared to file another tax return
- What is meant is the homeowners: For some things change when it comes to calculating property taxes
- We give the most important tips and show you what you need to be aware of
Many homeowners and property owners have received mail from their tax authorities in recent weeks: They are asked to file a tax return between July 1st and October 31st property tax return to deliver. But why is this necessary? And what should you consider? We clarify the most important issues.
Property tax return: why it is necessary at all
The property tax returns must be submitted because the size of the property tax is recalculated. This recalculation was triggered by a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court. In 2018, this declared the old calculation system unconstitutional. The federal and state governments therefore had to reform the system and are now calculating property tax for all 36 million new topics.
With data from the property tax return, the tax offices first calculate the so-called property tax value of the respective property. In another step, this value is multiplied by a nationwide property tax index. Now the municipalities are raising property taxes at different rates, which is reflected in the so-called tax rate States. In the third step, the municipalities therefore multiply the value by their assessment rate – and thus determine the final property tax.
It will take some time before all property tax values are recalculated. Therefore with the new tax assessments is not expected until the fall of 2024. Owners will still have to pay the new amount for the first time from January 2025.
Until then, the tax offices will still use the old so-called default values for the calculation. These are based on decades-old property values - and have long since ceased to reflect the actual price development. IN East Germany the default values were determined only once – namely in 1935. I West Germany The last time this happened was in 1964.
Incidentally: Not only property owners but also tenants are affected by the recalculation. For landlords can pass the property tax on to their tenants via the additional cost. But here too, the new regulation will not enter into force until 2024 and will therefore only then affect the associated costs.
Property tax: Owners must have this information ready for the return
So far, about 20 items are required to calculate the property tax. The new regulation is about five numbers:
- land area
- basic value
- Property type
- the age of the building and
- the relationship between living space and usable space.
on commercial properties in the future there will be a maximum of eight numbers instead of more than 30. It should also be easier for agriculture and forestry.
How owners get the data
There are several ways to get data. Property owners put the best tingbogsuddrag ready to fill. If you can no longer find it, you can get a new copy in the land registry. Likewise, the information letter from the tax authorities about the recalculation as well as the valuation decision, the purchase contract or the building documents can help.
From 1 July at the latest, data should also be available online to everyone via a map of the land value information system (Boris-D). Federal States be available. Some countries also offer a “property tax view” on the Internet. This is a website with the necessary information. Links to this can be found on the central website for all federal states at grundsteuerreform.de.
How to file a property tax return
Every property owner must submit the tax return electronically. For available reasons, for One- or two-family houses as well as for condominiums this can be done easily and for free via the website grundsteuererklaerung-fuer-privateigentum.de. These can also be used by those whose information letter the tax office writes that they must submit the declaration via the free online portal Elster.
Excluded from this are owners in some federal states, where in all cases magpie required. It refers to:
If the property belongs to an inheritance community or is the owner’s residence abroad, the declaration can also only be submitted via Elster.
Geld-Ratgeber Finanztip recommends signing up for Elster as soon as possible if you do not already have an account there, so the portal can be used in a few weeks. Because it takes some time before the account is activated.
WHO several parties In various federal states, it is best to use a paid, commercial tax program (such as Smartgrundsteuer or Grundsteuer-Digital) – this makes work much easier. Tax consultants can also help with the submission. Income tax relief associations, on the other hand, are not allowed to process property tax returns.
Where does the tax revenue go?
The income from the property tax ends up exclusively in the coffers of the cities and municipalities. According to the Federal Ministry of Finance, it is currently almost 15 billion euros a year. It is used by the municipalities to finance, among other things, schools, day care institutions, swimming pools or the construction of bridges and cycle paths.
Overall, the tax revenue should not increase as a result of the reform – at least that is what the federal and state governments had agreed on in the new version.
Property tax reform: who should pay more afterwards?
Although the total amount of property tax should not increase as a result of the reform, it will in future be differently composed. Essential to tax burden from 2025 onwards, each individual will be aware of the neighborhood where the property or property is located.
If the location has become more attractive since 1964 (West) or 1935 (East), the property tax should also increase. This applies above all to the cities and municipalities that have experienced a recovery since then.
The reform may also make things more expensive for tenants in the future tenant in attractive big cities: Because owners can still pass the tax on to operating costs. In contrast, the tax burden may fall in more structurally weak areas of Germany.
This article is published in collaboration with finanstip.de. The money guide for consumers is part of the Finanztip Foundation.
Updated: Thursday, 30/06/2022, 15:30
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