During the general election, the FDP had already advocated that they should not raise taxes. Even if the traffic light does not formally want to increase tax rates, everyone who inherits or is given a property next year is threatened with an increase in inheritance or gift tax.
Higher taxes? Not with the FDP. In any case, that was one of the conditions of the Free Democrats for entering the traffic light coalition with two left-wing parties, as liberals like to characterize the coalition partners SPD and Greens. Only recently did FDP leader and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner deny all rumors about tax increases.
At a tax forum of the Central Association of German Crafts in Berlin, he said: “We are in the pre-Christmas period: do not be afraid. With this coalition and this federal finance minister, there will be no tax increases.”
Oh well. Formally, the traffic light does not want to increase tax rates. But in fact everyone who inherits or is given a house or apartment from next year is threatened with a hefty tax increase. Because the Bundestag wants to follow a requirement of the Federal Constitutional Court this year and value real estate according to its market value.
In the current practice, in the event of an inheritance or gift, less is recognized than it would cost to build or buy the property today. This should be over now. Just as in the case of an inheritance or a donation, shares are included in the tax calculation at the current price, so it should be with real estate in the future.
Of course, experts advise against transferring real estate solely for tax reasons. This can later lead to conflicts when children may claim “their” house for themselves.
Parents can now grant themselves the right of usufruct in the case of a gift, so that they can live there until the end of their lives. But such arrangements are difficult to make quickly.
In the meantime, the FDP has noticed that their mantra “No tax increases” becomes implausible if the same tax rate is applied to significantly higher values in real estate. In the case of sharply increased values, heirs can also ask what – once again – the question of whether the Free Democrats can assert themselves against the “tax increase parties” SPD and FDP.
In any case, the FDP will have to be measured by the pre-Christmas message from its chairman: “Don’t be afraid. With this Federal Minister of Finance there will be no tax increases.”
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