The deadline is running
If no real estate tax return is filed
Filing a property tax return makes some owners stressed. Inconvenient bureaucracy is therefore often sidelined. But is it a good idea?
The owners have until October 31 to send the property tax return to the tax office. This seems like a small amount, but those who have not dealt with it at all can certainly start to hesitate – some data often have to be requested by the authorities first. This may take a while. So what happens if you file your property tax return late?
Then the same rules apply as for late filing of income tax returns, says Jana Bauer from the Federal Association of Income Tax Assistance Associations (BVL). First of all, the tax authorities could set a new deadline for filing with a reminder, but this is not mandatory. Then there were fines and surcharges for lateness. The amount of both amounts is regulated by law, but the tax authorities have discretion when it comes to fines.
A fine of up to 25,000 euros
According to Bauer, first there is a fine and there is another deadline for filing the return. If the deadline expires without submitting a return, a penalty will be assessed. For the first omission, the fine ranges between 25 and 250 euros, sometimes more, says Bauer. A single fine may not exceed EUR 25,000.
The amount of the delay surcharge amounts to 0.25 percent of the tax assessed, but at least 25 euros for each month of delay that has occurred. However, the surcharge is usually only charged after the 15th month of delay.
Will the filing deadline be extended?
“If a tax return is not filed at all, the tax office can generally make an estimate,” says Bauer. In most cases, the estimate is disadvantageous for the owners, as the tax authorities round generously. But even an estimate does not release you from the obligation to file a return. Financial officers typically set a new four-week deadline with the assessment, says Bauer.
According to Jana Bauerová, if taxpayers can foresee in time that they will not have time to file their real estate tax return, they should request an extension of the deadline. If the parties concerned can provide special reasons for the delay, the tax office can grant an extension.
There are no official comments on this yet, but experts assume that the deadline for filing property tax returns will be extended, so far the returns have been too bad. It remains to be seen whether the financial authorities will actually take action with sanctions from November 1. “Wirtschaftswoche” recently reported that the Federal Ministry of Finance will not extend the deadline for submitting property tax returns.