This is what landlords need to know about the new property tax.
Property tax reform requires that all properties be revalued this year. All property owners are required to submit the required data to tax offices from July. But what exactly should taxpayers pay attention to so that they do not run out of time?
As a result of the property tax reform, all property owners’ properties and buildings must be reassessed starting this year. What does that mean for owners?
Stephen Lamberti: Unfortunately, there is very little time left. Tax returns must be submitted between July 1 and October 31 this year. This can be done electronically via the well-known Elster portal. However, in exceptional cases, submission in traditional paper form should also be possible. It is important that landlords speak with tax experts now.
This seems like a very tight schedule…
Lamberti: In these four months, data for 36 million properties must be submitted across the country, in Saarland alone, about 580,000 properties have to be re-evaluated. We recommend that all taxpayers start collecting the necessary information now, because identifying tax-relevant data can become very complex, particularly in the case of residential rental properties, commercial properties as well as mixed-use properties.
What data are we talking about? It should get easier with the property tax reform, because you only have to provide six details instead of the previous twenty.
Lamberti: It relates to the size of the property, the living space or the total area of commercial property, the type of building, the year of manufacture, and the standard land value. The devil is in the details: Example: In residential real estate, an undeveloped attic or basement does not count as living space; In commercial buildings, the total floor area does not include attics, exterior walls, or balconies. We had to train our team in detail. How is the average man supposed to see through that?
Does the tax return deadline also apply to countries with an alternative form?
Lamberti: definitely. Other deadlines are also set for all concerned: after submitting the statements, the tax offices must determine the property tax values and send the corresponding notifications to the taxpayer. They only have one month to file an appeal. If the notification is incorrect, this deadline must be observed.
How is the situation changing in Saarland in particular?
Lamberti: In principle, the federal model was adopted here, but with specification in tax indicators. These are set differently from the Federal Model for sole proprietorship types, for example for a single-family home 0.34 instead of 0.31 درجة or for commercial property 0.64 درجة instead of 0.34.
Is it easy to change information just by giving it?
Lamberti: After the property tax value has been determined and the objection period has expired, the property value can only be changed again in very few cases. So you must be meticulous when compiling documents and recording individual values in the declaration, so that you will receive a valid evaluation notice afterwards.
Do you expect many cases to go to court?
Lamberti: I don’t see that risk at the moment, but there will certainly be many special cases that are not finally resolved by the tax authorities.
Do you fear that the entire project will fail because it cannot be completed in the time frame set by the Federal Constitutional Court until 2025?
Lamberti: In the end we are still making it. Success also depends on the speed and reliability of the data provided by the taxpayer. We therefore urge taxpayers to speak to their experts as soon as possible.
Tax offices send property tax assessments to municipalities, which then have to determine the new assessment rates in 2024. Who will be more expensive in the future, who will be cheaper?
Lamberti: As a result, property tax reform should be revenue-neutral, but it’s true: There will be shifts. The question of what will happen if the October 31 application deadline is not met is also an exciting one. Unfortunately, the deadline extension is unexpected at this time. We have prepared the customer letter. If you are interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stéphane Lamberti is a tax advisor and general manager of KANZLEI Saarlouis since 2019:
tax consulting company
Beaugardt • Fontaine • Lamberte MPH
Phone: 154-0 68 31/50 (0) 49+
Fax: +49 (0) 68 31 / 50154-60