The deadline for filing property tax returns is this Tuesday. Many property owners have yet to deliver. Only a little more than two-thirds made the statement by Sunday, as a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Finance said.
In mid-October, the federal states had extended the submission deadline from the end of October to the end of January 2023 due to the slow receipt of property tax returns from the tax authorities. There is no further extension of the deadline, as several country representatives had made clear. When the deadline expires, the tax offices will first send out reminders.
If real estate owners are unable to meet the deadline, they can apply for an extension of the deadline from the responsible tax office, stating their reasons. An extension of the deadline is usually only considered in justified individual cases, according to a "tax chatbot" on a website of the tax authorities of the federal states. The consumer portal “Finanztip” recommended clarifying in advance on the phone whether there was any chance of an extension of the deadline.
Anyone who does not respond to a reminder must expect a surcharge for late payment, which the local tax office will determine, as a spokesman for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Finance Minister Heiko Geue (SPD) said.
Revaluation of 36 million lots
"Finanztip" recommended that property owners should take action at the latest after receiving a reminder from the tax office. After that, there is a risk of a surcharge of 25 euros per month and possibly a fine of up to 25,000 euros. The fine means that the levy should be enforced. If the declaration is still not submitted, the tax office will make an estimate of the property tax value that will "very certainly" not be in favor of the property owner.
From 2025, the new property tax calculation will apply. The Federal Constitutional Court had demanded this, because the tax offices recently calculated the value of a property on the basis of completely outdated data, from 1935 in East Germany and from 1964 in West Germany. Almost 36 million properties now have to be revalued for the recalculation. The tax authorities need data from all owners, even if they only own an allotment. Usually it is about the land and living space, the type of building, years of construction and the so-called standard land value.
Forbearance required in the case of violations of deadlines
Property tax is one of the most important sources of income for municipalities. How much property tax the individual owners will actually have to pay from 2025 will remain open for a while. Because that depends crucially on the so-called assessment rates of the municipalities.
The FDP financial expert Markus Herbrand called on the federal states to be lenient in the event of violations of deadlines. "In view of the fact that the documents are far from complete, we appeal to the federal states to also allow subsequent submissions and to deal accommodatingly with violations of deadlines," said the financial policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group to the editorial network Germany.