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Property tax return: Christian Lindner is urging countries to take longer


The explanations for the new property tax overwhelm many citizens. Finance Minister Lindner wants to propose a later deadline to the federal states: “People have other and bigger concerns at the moment.”

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Development area in North Rhine-Westphalia: Almost 36 million properties in Germany have to be revalued

Photo: Hans Blossey / IMAGO

Finance Minister Christian Lindner initially sees no need to simplify applications for property tax.

»The applications are digital in a comparatively simplified way.

That is now achievable for many, »said the FDP leader in Berlin.

»But where there is still a problem, I hear that from pensioners who write to me more often – maybe a little time is helpful.«

Lindner announced that he wanted to convince the federal states of a longer period for property tax.

"I'm very encouraging that the countries take up the proposal and that we agree on a different timetable," said the politician.

"Now, due to the heavy workloads of the various parties involved, we have other priorities than paying attention to one or two months." At first, he did not name a fixed period for an extension.

Union politicians demand a unified line

The submission deadline is at the end of October.

It is not based on a federal regulation, but on stipulations of the federal states, but many real estate owners still find it difficult to submit the declaration of assessment for the new property tax - too complicated, too bureaucratic, too incomprehensible, according to the accusations.

However, the Lindner initiative has met with criticism in North Rhine-Westphalia.

It would be more expedient if he had first sought talks with the state finance ministers "instead of communicating such announcements via the press," said North Rhine-Westphalia finance minister Marcus Optendrenk.

"We should first wait for further developments and agree on a uniform line at federal and state level," recommended the CDU politician.

So the picture is now the same as with the relief package, said Optendrenk.

“In Berlin, decisions are made over the heads of the federal states that have not been coordinated with the federal states.

That’s not how trusting politics between the federal and state governments works.«

Bavaria's Finance Minister Albert Füracker, in turn, also called for a nationwide uniform procedure in the event of a possible extension of the submission deadline.

The CSU politician said he was confident that a good solution would be found at the finance ministers' conference on Thursday next week.

And: "It would be nice if the Federal Minister of Finance would also take part in the joint conference of the federal and state governments."

Only a quarter made statements

According to Lindner, only a quarter to a third of the property owners have submitted the new property tax return.

The submission deadline is at the end of October.

From 2025, a new property tax calculation is to apply.

To do this, almost 36 million properties in Germany have to be revalued.

This is done on the basis of information that all owners must submit - the tax authorities have been receiving the data since July 1st.

Property tax is one of the most important sources of income for municipalities.

Before the corona crisis, it covered around 15 percent of its tax revenue, which is then used to pay for roads, swimming pools or theaters.

It's an annual tax on land and building ownership, but a landlord can also pass it on to tenants through utility bills.

For most apartment owners, it is a few hundred euros a year, but for owners of apartment buildings it is often four-digit amounts.

How much property tax the individual owners will actually have to pay in the future will remain open for a while.

Because that depends crucially on the so-called assessment rates of the municipalities.

In the approximately 11,000 German communities, these factors can range from 0 to more than 1,000 percent.

They only have to be determined by January 1, 2025.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-10-05

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