Taxation of Property
Real Property Tax
Every property owner in Germany is liable to pay real property tax (Grundsteuer). The tax rate depends on the type of real property. This is sorted into two distinct categories:
- Real property tax "A": Real property used for agriculture and forestry.
- Real property tax "B": Constructible real property or real property with buildings.
Real Property Tax Rate
The real property tax burden is calculated by multiplying:
- the assessed value of the real property
- the real property tax rate
- the municipal multiplier
The assessed real property value is determined by the tax authorities according to the German Assessment Code (Bewertungsgesetz). The German Assessment Code refers to historical property values that are usually significantly lower than current market value.
The tax rate varies between 0.26 percent and 1 percent depending on the FederalState (the real property is located at) and the use of the property.
Similar to the municipal multiplier applied in the trade tax case, the municipal multiplier applied to real property tax is stipulated by each municipality. Municipalities determine a municipal multiplier for both real property tax "A" and real property tax "B", with the rate for "B" usually being higher.
Determining the Real Property Tax Burden
Real Property Transfer Tax
When domestic real estate is sold or changes owner, a one-time real property transfer tax (Grunderwerbssteuer) of the purchase price is levied if the purchase price or consideration exceeds EUR 2,500. Real property transfer tax is usually paid by the buyer. The tax rate varies from federal state to federal state. The tax rate in North Rhine-Westphalia represents five percent.