What homeowners need to know about the new property tax – SWR Aktuell

Homeowners have a lot of work to do during the summer. The property tax has been recalculated and therefore those affected must file a return with the tax office.

What is the importance of property tax?
Why is property tax recalculated?
What is the situation in Rheinland-Pfalz?
How does all this work?
What information is required by data subjects?
Where can homeowners and property owners find help?
Where are the traps hidden?
Will more property taxes be paid after the reform?

Property tax is one of the most important sources of income for municipalities. Prior to the Corona crisis, it covered about 15 percent of municipal tax revenues, which were used to pay for example swimming pools or theaters. In the Rhineland-Palatinate, property tax A (on agricultural and forestry assets) poured € 19 million into the municipality’s coffers last year. For property tax B (for other developed and undeveloped real estate) was 606 million euros. It is paid by every land and property owner. However, a landlord can pass them on to tenants through the utility bill. For homeowners, this is usually a few hundred euros a year. For owners of larger residential buildings with four-digit amounts.

The property tax reform was enacted more than two years ago after the Federal Constitutional Court requested a new regulation. So far, the tax authorities have calculated the value of a property based on completely outdated data. From 2025, a new calculation method will be implemented. But before that, nearly 36 million properties in Germany need to be revalued. The reform is considered one of the biggest projects for tax authorities in post-war history.

The dimension in Rhineland-Palatinate shows that this estimate is not exaggerated. About 2.5 million properties will be reassessed here by mid-2024. This includes farms and forestry companies.

Although the reform will not take effect until 2025, all landowners are required to file their property tax return between July and October 2022. According to the Ministry of Finance, affected citizens in the Rhineland-Palatinate should be informed with a letter containing additional assistance from May. Delivery should be possible then from July through the ELSTER portal. The deadline for submissions is October 31st.

Information is required on the location of the property (including district and plot of land), property area, standard land value, living space and, if applicable, type of property or building and year of construction. It will not be unimportant, according to the expectations of the taxpayers’ association in Rhineland-Palatinate. Some people now have to start digging up their documents. Others may need to make new measurements. “Many will need help,” says Frank Senger, head of the budget and finance department at the Rheinland-Palatinate taxpayers’ association.

Architects can offer help with questions about areas or measurements, Senger advises. Ultimately, a tax advisor will be able to provide support for the entire return. But they are currently being used extensively by the coron pandemic and do not necessarily have to provide quick appointments. In addition, federal states have created an information portal. Advice from income tax assistance associations is not expressly permitted.

The biggest obstacle is probably the time factor, ie the deadline until the end of October. Therefore, the associations are calling for the deadline to be extended beyond October, including the taxpayers’ association in the Rhineland-Palatinate. “By the end of the year it would be appropriate,” Senger says. Calculating the so-called standard land values ​​for future property tax assessment is considered to be particularly complicated.

According to the taxpayers’ association, politicians say the reform will be revenue-neutral. “But there are indications that in the end a majority of citizens will have to pay more than before,” says Senger. As a result, some would probably feel unfairly valued after the new rating. It is also envisaged that in the future such a statement of determination will be submitted every seven years. His prognosis: “The courts will have a lot to do.”

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