Elster: Property tax return drives older users to despair - even tears flow
Created: 2022-08-09 05:42
By: Lisa Mayerhofer
Owners have until the end of October to submit their property tax returns.
But filling out the online forms via Elster drives many users to despair.
Düsseldorf – Owners have been able to submit their property tax returns since July 1st.
You don't have much time: by October 31, all owners of real estate in the form of land, apartments or houses should hand over.
The submission should be made electronically if possible – via the Elster tax portal.
Elster and property tax return: information letter causes desperation
But this is not so easy for many users. Older people in particular are overwhelmed, reports a hotline employee who answers questions about property tax for the tax office in North Rhine-Westphalia over the phone, the
It starts with the information letter written in official German that the North Rhine-Westphalian authorities had sent out.
Some older callers cried on the phone because they didn't understand the letter that was supposed to help them make the statement, the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told
"They thought there was going to be a huge bill."
He also criticizes the fact that the letter does not mention the most important information: which documents help users to fill out the property tax return, such as the extract from the land register.
Property tax: In case of desperation, the employee advises submitting it in paper form
If you want to look it up at Elster, you won't get any smarter either: there, too, there is initially no information about what data is required to fill in and where it can be found.
The most useful are checklists and explanations on external websites - broken down by federal state.
Because the models for declaring the property tax differ depending on the federal state, which causes additional confusion.
Bavaria, for example, uses a simpler model than North Rhine-Westphalia - the hurdles to submitting the property tax return on paper are also lower here.
According to Spiegel
, the hotline employee
also recommends the paper form for desperate use on the phone: “If people have not even registered with Elster, I now often say: Don’t do that at all, make the declaration on paper.
That's easy on the nerves for both sides.
Because you don't get any error messages in paper form that you then spend half an hour trying to get rid of over the phone."
It would be suggested that you first have to prove that you can't make the declaration online under any circumstances.
"But I don't want 90-year-olds to have to tell me their medical history first," the employee tells the magazine.
He now puts anyone who wants it on the postal list.