October 31 is the deadline: will the deadline for property tax returns be extended?

Experts have so far assumed that the filing period for property tax returns will be extended.

October 31 is the deadline: will the deadline for property tax returns be extended?

Experts have so far assumed that the filing period for property tax returns will be extended. The return so far is too poor. But the Federal Ministry of Finance does not want to change the originally scheduled date. Finance Minister Lindner still sees an option in extending the deadline.

Owners only have until October 31 to send their property tax returns to the tax office. According to a media report, the Federal Ministry of Finance does not want to extend the deadline for submitting property tax returns. An extension beyond the end of October harbors the risk that the municipalities will not be able to fulfill their tasks on time, a spokesman for the ministry told the "Wirtschaftswoche".

"This threatens tax shortfalls with all the known consequences for budgets, including those of the federal states and the federal government," the finance ministry was quoted as saying by the newspaper. In principle, however, the federal states could set the deadline at their own discretion. Finance Minister Christian Lindner from the FDP was open to extending the deadlines at the end of August.

And he still sees an option in extending the deadline. "He is monitoring developments closely and reserves the right to approach the federal states with a corresponding initiative," said a ministry spokesman on Wednesday afternoon in Berlin. The deadline expires at the end of October. It is not based on a federal regulation, but on determinations made by the federal states.

Many property owners are still struggling with submitting the declaration of assessment for the new property tax. As a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Finance announced last week, only just under 18 percent of the declarations have been made so far. 6.2 million forms were filled out online and around 584,000 paper declarations were received.

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. Technical difficulties arose at ELSTER in mid-July: the control platform was temporarily unavailable. Several associations and some state politicians then called for an extension of the submission deadline, which normally ends on October 31st.

"The property tax reform is a bureaucratic monster that overwhelms older homeowners and apartment owners in particular," criticized the Association of German Property Users. In addition, the municipalities would have to significantly reduce the assessment rates that influence the amount of property tax by 2024 at the latest, since people who live in their own homes would otherwise have to pay much more than they do today.

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