Not all owners have yet submitted the required property tax returns. But the tax authorities already have their hands full with this. Presumably, the burden will be even higher if objections to the decisions arrive.
Because of the real estate tax reform, the tax offices are expected to have enormous additional work. This primarily concerns the processing of objections to the revaluation of land. Based on previous figures from the state authorities, it can be assumed that around 1.5 million owners will raise objections, explained the money guide Finanztip. This could push the tax offices to their limits in terms of personnel.
At the beginning of February, Finanztip asked the state authorities of the federal states about objections that had been received against property tax assessments that had been sent out. 13 of the 16 countries provided corresponding information. After that, at least 350,000 objections were received. "The objection rate in relation to the processed property tax returns ranges from 1.29 percent in Schleswig-Holstein to an estimated ten percent in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania," explained Finanztip. Bremen, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia initially gave no information.
According to Finanztip, around nine million of 36 million property tax returns had been processed by the beginning of February. "If you extrapolate the figures available to us, it becomes clear what a gigantic wave of objections the tax offices will face as soon as they have sent out the remaining majority of the property tax assessments," said Finanztip tax expert Jörg Leine. A total of 1.5 million objections are expected.
"The tax offices have increased their staff significantly because of the property tax return, but the large number of potential objections should push the officials to their limits," Leine continued. In recent years, the officials have processed an average of a little more than three million complaints a year - in relation to that, 1.5 million additional complaints are enormous.
In the course of the property tax reform, millions of properties nationwide have to be revalued. Owners of houses, apartments and land must submit a number of data for the declaration. Then the notifications will be sent. The deadline for submitting the declaration expired at the end of January. By then, however, every fourth declaration was still missing. This also creates extra work for the tax offices, because in the coming weeks they will have to take care of sending millions of reminders to defaulting owners, explained expert Leine. "After that, it will be a matter of setting surcharges for delays and threatening fines. And finally, there will still be a large number of properties whose value the tax officials will have to estimate."