Status: 08.09.2023, 07:38 a.m.
By: Anne Hund
There are numerous ancillary housing costs in which tenants or owners can equally participate in the tax office, as experts from the income tax assistance calculate.
Many tenants fear the annual utility bill from the landlord or property management because it can be associated with a huge additional payment. But in many cases, something can be gotten out of it from a tax point of view.
Utility billing: What tenants can get out of their tax money
It is true that consumption-related costs such as gas, water and electricity cannot be deducted from tax, as theLohnsteuerhilfe (Lohi) Bayern informs. But there are numerous other ancillary housing costs in which tenants or owners could equally participate in the tax office. "That's why it's worth taking a close look at the utility bill and allocating individual amounts to household-related services or craftsmen's services," explains Tobias Gerauer, CEO of Lohi Bayern, according to the statement.
Tenants could also benefit from a tax rebate if, for example, craftsmen have repaired something in the apartment or house at their expense. © Roman Möbius/Imago
Tax return: What costs in an apartment or house can you specify?
Accordingly, the tax return includes all expenses incurred for cleaning, maintenance, repair or renovation work in the apartment, in communal facilities, on the house, in the garden, on the property or adjacent sidewalk. If the costs were paid by bank transfer or direct debit out of your own pocket, they can be claimed for tax purposes, according to Lohi. It does not matter whether a payment was made proportionately to the landlord or to a company.
Deduct costs from tax – pay attention to common craftsmen's services
Especially in apartment buildings, there are numerous technical systems that need to be checked and maintained regularly, as the experts emphasize. In addition, the maintenance and management of apartment buildings are often outsourced to external service providers so that the landlord does not have to worry about it on an ongoing basis. Such costs are usually passed on by the landlord to the residential parties. Lohi counts the following among the most common craftsmen's services:
- Chimney sweep
- Gutter and drain pipe cleaning
- Maintenance of elevators, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors
- Maintenance of electrical, gas and water installations
- Replacement of metering meters
- Removal of graffiti
- Whitening from the stairwell
- Thermal insulation and façade painting
- Repair of water damage
- Cosmetic repairs
Claiming costs for household-related services for tax purposes
Household-related services are considered to be work "that you could usually do yourself," according to the statement. Here are some examples:
- Caretakers, gardeners and cleaning services
- Cleaning stairwell and common areas
- Mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge and replacing plants
- Leaf removal from pavement and driveways
- Winter service with clearing and gritting of sidewalks
- Mold and pest control
Don't miss a thing: You can find everything you need to know about money in the regular money newsletter from our partner Merkur.de.
Costs around the house: tax bonus of up to 5,200 euros per year
According to Bavaria, a total tax bonus of up to 5,200 euros per year beckons to Lohi Bayern. According to the Income Tax Act, 20 percent of the labor costs, including travel and machine costs, can be deducted from income tax up to the applicable maximum amounts. "There is a tax advantage of a maximum of 1,200 euros per year for craftsmen's services, and 4,000 euros for household-related services. In the best case, tenants can directly reduce their tax burden by 5,200 euros in one year."