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26 million are missing – Lindner's controversial deadline requirement

Many real estate owners still take their time with filing the property tax return.

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26 million are missing – Lindner's controversial deadline requirement

Many real estate owners still take their time with filing the property tax return. Although the deadline has been running since the beginning of July, the tax authorities have so far only received 10.01 million electronic declarations nationwide, the Bavarian State Office for Taxes responsible for the Elster platform informed WELT on request.

Conversely, this means that a good three weeks before the deadline, 26 million declarations are still missing. Because a total of 36 million plots of land and buildings have to be revalued for the planned property tax reform.

An extension of the deadline seems inevitable in view of the low tax rate. Next week, when the finance ministers of the federal states meet for their monthly meeting on October 13, a decision is to be made on this. There is still no agreement.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) spoke out in favor of extending the deadline – possibly to the end of the year. "I'm very encouraging that the federal states take up the proposal and that we agree on a different timetable," he said after the cabinet meeting in Berlin.

"Now, due to the heavy burdens on the various parties involved, we have other priorities than just one or two months," said Lindner, among other things, with a view to the tax consultant industry, whose stakeholders have been demanding an extension of the deadline for weeks.

The countries see Lindner's advance critically. An extension of the deadline would be a "pure sham solution, which would mean that everyone would have to wait longer for their decision later," said Bremen's Finance Senator Dietmar Strehl (Greens). Anyone who has not managed to provide the necessary information within four months will not be helped by an extension.

His colleague from Berlin, Daniel Wesener (Greens), also thinks little of an extension of the deadline. "There is no need for Berlin to extend the deadline, which has been known for a long time," he said. He pointed out that more statements had been received week after week. This is the case in every tax procedure shortly before the deadline.

In addition, Wesener pointed out that so far only very few declarations have come from tax consultants. "We know from experience that they maintain a particularly tight deadline management and only submit them shortly before the end of the submission period," he said. Against this background, the statements made by the Federal Minister of Finance are not very helpful.

The latter sees NRW Finance Minister Marcus Optendrenk (CDU) similar. He would have thought it more expedient if Lindner had first sought talks with the state finance ministries. From the point of view of Hamburg's finance senator Andreas Dressel (SPD), Lindner's approach via the media is "again not in good style".

Bavaria's Minister of State Albert Füracker (CSU) pointed out that the deadline for submitting the property tax return was October 31 nationwide. "Any changes to the deadline should therefore be decided in the group of countries," said Füracker.

He assumes that a “good solution” will be found next week. Lower Saxony's Finance Minister Reinhold Hilbers (CDU) indicated what such a solution could look like. "It would be conceivable, for example, to extend the deadline for those who seek advice or for complex cases in agriculture," he said.

In the ministry of the Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Finance Doris Ahnen (SPD), one questions whether an extension of the deadline is necessary at all. "In justified cases, taxpayers can already be granted an extension of the deadline upon request," it said.

In the state finance ministry in Baden-Württemberg, which is led by the Greens, it was announced a few weeks ago that the reminders would only be sent out in the first quarter of 2023 anyway. In fact, the deadline has already been extended there to at least the end of the year.

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