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Precautionary “Einspruch” to property tax assessments?
You may have followed the discussions in the press, in which it is often advised to file a precautionary objection (“Einspruch”) against the assessments on the “Grundsteueräquivalenzbeträge” (in other federal states: “Grundsteuerwert”) and the assessment on “Grundsteuermessbetrag” and to apply for suspension of the proceedings in order to prevent them from becoming effective. The reason given for this is constitutional objections to the new “Grundsteuergesetz” (Property Tax Act).
It is currently difficult to assess the prospects of success of an “Einspruch” against the aforementioned assessments. The tax offices are bound by applicable law and therefore also by the current Property Tax Act. Therefore, it must be expected that the “Einsprüche” will be rejected, especially since a stay of proceedings is not permissible as long as no proceedings are pending before the Federal Fiscal Court ("BFH") or the Federal Constitutional Court ("BVerfG"). It is not foreseeable when this will be.
In order to gain time, it may nevertheless be considered to file an “Einspruch” against the property tax assessments. This will not incur any costs for the tax authorities. If the tax office rejects the “Einspruch”, a decision must then be made within one month on whether to file a lawsuit - although this will incur costs.
We will be happy to file an “Einspruch” on your behalf against your assessments on “Grundsteueräquivalenzbetrag” / “Grundsteuerwert” and “Grundsteuermessbetrag”. Please note, however, that even if the “Einspruch” is subsequently upheld, you will not be reimbursed for the fees we charge for the objection procedure.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the tax law team of SKW Schwarz.