Grundsteuer - previous house owner want us to refund the Grundsteuer the city wrongly charged him

13 posts in this topic

We bought a house last year, handover May 2018.

The local authority started to charge us Grundsteuer only from 1st Jan 2019.

For the "in between" period, May 2018 - Jan 2019, the city continued to charge the previous owner.

The previous owner is now telling us we must pay him back what the local office charged him, for the period of time between the handover, and 1st Jan 2019.

 

What's the most appropriate way to handle this. Paying him, right? Sounds fair and I'm in favor of it. But this being Germany, where things are only ever done officially with documents etc etc, is it not better that he gets a refund from the local tax office, and then they charge us the correct amount, rather than friendly solving this among us behind the scenes...?

 

Thanks,

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The land tax is paid yearly and if you sell the property in February you still have to pay the whole year and the buyer pays from the following calendar year.    It is possible to agree something different and put it in the contract so that the buyer pays a proportional part of the land tax.   But if there is nothing about it in the contract you don't really have to pay him anything.

 

Show him this:

 

https://www.recht-finanzen.de/faq/408-wer-zahlt-die-grundsteuer-bei-eigentuemerwechsel

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7 minutes ago, Krieg said:

The land tax is paid yearly and if you sell the property in February you still have to pay the whole year and the buyer pays from the following calendar year.    It is possible to agree something different and put it in the contract so that the buyer pays a proportional part of the land tax.   But if there is nothing about it in the contract you don't really have to pay him anything.

 

Show him this:

 

https://www.recht-finanzen.de/faq/408-wer-zahlt-die-grundsteuer-bei-eigentuemerwechsel

 

Thanks, Krieg.

This is really strange. Amazing.

What's the reasoning behind this bizarre rule, just to make it "easier" for the tax collector to know when/whom they should charge?

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I have no idea (for cars you always get back what you prepaid and didn't "use").    Here in Berlin we pay the land tax divided in four payments, one every trimester.  So I understand it is weird that after you sold the property you still have to finish paying the tax for the year.  But it is like that.

 

Your seller sounds like a stingy person trying to milk the last drop, after all we are talking about 200 or 400 EUR (which would be "your part") after selling you a property for a few hundred thousand €.

 

P.S., something good for you that you maybe do not know yet, the land tax is very static, in 11 years ours has stayed the same.

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Yes, the vendor (the brother at least) is not a nice person.

After the sale he started a fight with his sister on how to share the sum. Although at the Notartermin with us he verbally accepted the 50/50 share the sister suggested. No idea how it ended, other than the sum had to remain months (!!) in the hand of the notar before they agreed (via lawyers!) how to share.This what the notar told us, at least.

Plus, the house and garage were full of garbage (garbage in the most literal sense). Maybe he thought we didn't mind as we were going to demolish it anyway. It costed us a few 100s, and lots of hassle, to get it besenrein.

From this, I do have some kind of bitter taste, but I also agree this will/should not influence how to move on.

 

As much as I'm "happy" to pay what I should, immediately and without arguing, I also would rather not pay what I don't have to...

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Have you checked your contract?

We had a clause in ours, which said:

Öffentliche Abgaben und Lasten, wie z.B. Grundsteuer und wiederkehrende Beiträge für kommunale Einrichtungen, sowie Sachversicherungsprämien hat der Käufer zu tragen, soweit sie auf die Zeit ab Nutzungsübergang entfallen. Einmalige Lasten, insbesondere Erschließungsbeiträge und einmalige Beiträge für kommunale Einrichtungen trägt der Käufer, soweit sie von heute an bekannt gegeben werden.

It was under "Besitz, Nutzungen, Gefahr und Lasten"

 

The previous owners sent us a copy of the bill they had received and I paid them back for the month that they had already paid for.

 

Regarding land tax: They are in the process of changing the system, I believe, and no one knows how it will turn out. I somehow doubt it will become cheaper…

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Sorry,  I forgot the translation. It basically says that the buyer will be responsible for recurring fees such as taxes,  insurance etc from the moment the property is handed over and for fees that have to be paid once such as roads etc. insofar as they are announced from this day onwards 

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Thanks. 

I just read the contract once more. It says this:

 

Der Besitz und die Nutzungen, die Gefahr, und die Lasten einschließlich aller Verpflichtungen aus den den Grundbesitz betreffend Versicherungen sowie die allgemeinen Verkehrsicherungspflichten gehen auf den Käufer über mit Wirkung  vom Tag der Übergabe.

 

 

I take the wording "... und die Lasten ..." means all the burdens, including this Grundsteuer (although this as such is not specifically mentioned).

 

Once more lesson reminded: when it's legal and there is a contract, read the contract.

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You could try telling the previous owner that you will agree to pay the fees, but you want a legal written contract and that he has to pay all the fees for the Anwalt etc. to do this as it is his mistake that he did not include it in the original contract.

 

As these fees may well be more than the cost of the Steuer, then it might put them off!

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7 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

You could try telling the previous owner that you will agree to pay the fees, but you want a legal written contract

 

Contract for what? I think the present contract settled it.

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