The property tax return for millions of properties, which is due by October at the latest, is worrying many Germans. We have the answers to the 10 most pressing questions for you.

For many years, the so-called assessed value has been the basis for calculating property tax. But that is not only hopelessly outdated, but also unconstitutional according to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court.

From 2025, property tax will be based on a new calculation basis. But for this to work, a reassessment must be carried out this year. Therefore, all property owners are called upon to become active and evaluate their belongings. With around 36 million properties in Germany, many people will have to submit a second tax return this year.

Question 2: Do I also have to submit a property tax return?

If you don’t own a condominium, house or plot of land, you’re out of the game. Owners of land or real estate are obliged to submit a property tax return. It doesn’t matter how the property is currently being used.

If there are several owners, it is sufficient if one of them submits the property tax return. However, the other co-owners must be listed in the declaration.

The reference date is January 1st, 2022. That means it depends on the ownership situation on that day. If you sold your house on January 5th, 2022, you are still responsible for the property tax return. If an owner dies before submitting the property tax return, the heirs are responsible. In the case of properties with heritable building rights, the persons entitled to heritable building rights are responsible.

Question 3: What is the deadline for property tax?

The deadlines for the property tax return are tight. The declarations will be requested by the tax authorities by October 31, 2022. However, they have only been accepted since July 1st. Since the regulations in the individual federal states are different and have been lashed down to the end, taxpayers are now under a bit of pressure.

In theory, the legislature could extend the deadline, but you should not rely on that.

Question 4: What are the submission options?

You can tackle property tax yourself or consult a tax advisor. However, income tax assistance associations are not authorized to prepare the property tax for you. Property and property management companies may provide support with the property tax return if it is a property they manage. Also important: relatives can help themselves with the property tax return free of charge.

If you want to tackle the property tax yourself, you can do this via MeinELSTER. Alternatively, some federal states also provide forms that can be filled out on a PC or filled out by hand. In addition, programs such as WISO property tax help with the declaration.

Question 5: Which rules for which federal state?

It is best to find out more about the regulations on the website of the responsible tax authority. If you have property in Bavaria, you must comply with the regulations for property tax in Bavaria; if you have property in Hesse, the Hessian regulations must be observed. Here is a small overview of the regulations of the federal states:

Question 6: What data is required?

Here, too, it is essential that you observe the regulations made for the responsible federal state. But most of the time you need:

Land and real estate owners have to submit a new real estate tax return by October 31, because according to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, the real estate and thus the taxes have to be recalculated. In our free webinar, real estate specialist Christian Voigtländer and lecturer at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University on real estate taxation, Jürgen Lindauer, explain what that means for you and what you have to do exactly. WATCH THE FREE RECORDING HERE!

Question 7: Does the declaration have to be made by ELSTER?

no Since ELSTER has proven itself for tax returns for many years, it is also the preferred method for property tax returns. If you already have ELSTER access, you can also use it for property tax. You can also use this access for the property tax declaration of relatives.

But not everyone has a PC and the ability to use ELSTER. Some states make exceptions for this. Bavaria, for example, also provides forms that can be filled out by hand. For private owners who have property in a federal state that follows the federal model, there is this alternative without ELSTER.

Question 8: May I make the property tax return for others?

Yes, you can help relatives with the property tax return. Important: You may not ask for any money for this. What is particularly practical is that you can also submit the property tax return for your relatives via ELSTER.

Question 9: What happens once the declaration has been made?

The tax office will check your information and use it to calculate the new property tax value. If any questions arise when checking your information, the tax office will contact you about this.

If everything goes smoothly, the tax office will inform you of the new property tax value in writing. In addition, a property tax base amount is calculated. You will also receive a letter from the tax office. At the same time, this value is reported to the responsible municipality/city in which your property is located.

Your municipality then uses these values ​​to calculate the property tax to be paid. You will also be informed of this in advance. The property tax notice from the municipality should probably arrive in 2024, and the corresponding amount will then have to be paid from 2025.

Question 10: What happens if you don’t submit the property tax return?

Sticking your head in the sand and hoping that the property tax return will pass you by is not a good idea. The tax offices may have a lot to do with the property tax, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t do it thoroughly.

If you do not comply with your obligation, the tax office will remind you and probably threaten a penalty. Attention, a fine can be up to 25,000 euros, you should not risk that.

It can also happen that the tax office estimates the values ​​for taxation and this should turn out to be to your disadvantage. It is also possible that the tax office will charge you a late fee. Either way, if you submit the property tax return in good time, then you are on the safe side.

The property tax return must be submitted by October 31, 2022: With the “GrundsteuerErklärung” software from, you can master the task yourself in no time at all.