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Generic Tax Name Tax on real estate - Real property tax
Tax name in the national language Grundsteuer
Tax name in English Real property tax
Member State DE-Germany
Tax in force since 1936/12/03
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2015/01/01
Version date 2015/02/17
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco

Social security contribution Employers
Legal base

Legal basis for the imposition of real property tax is the Real Property Tax Reform Act of 7 August 1973 (Federal Law Gazette 1973 I p. 965), last amended by Article 38 of the Act of 19 December 2008 (Federal Law Gazette 2008 I p. 2794).

Who sets
The tax rate is set by

The tax base is set by

The reliefs are set by



Geographical Scope

Federal Republic of Germany.


Taxpayer is the one to whom the assessed value according to the Valuation Act is attributed.

Tax object and basis of assessment

As an impersonal tax, real property tax has as its object the economic units of real property as described in section 2 of the Real Property Tax Act (Class A real property tax for agriculture and forestry businesses and Class B real property tax for real estate). The tax applies to these irrespective of the taxpayer’s personal circumstances or personal ability to pay.

Real property tax is calculated in three separate consecutive steps. These are the procedure to determine the assessed value; the procedure to determine the relevant value, which is based on the assessed value; and the procedure to determine the tax due, which uses the relevant value as an input.

The starting point is as follows:

  • on real property (agricultural and forestry undertakings, private and business property) in the former federal area on the basis of the assessed value established under the Valuation Act in accordance with 1964 values;
  • on agricultural and forestry undertakings (excluding residential property) in the new Länder on the basis of the adjusted economic value established under the Valuation Act in accordance with 1964 values;
  • on real property in the new Länder, for which under the Valuation Act an assessed value in accordance with 1935 values has been or is to be established on the basis of the 1935 assessed value;
  • on rental property and single-family houses built before 1991 in the new Länder, for which the 1935 assessed value has not been established, according to the substitute assessment basis of residential or usable area (flat-rate real property tax per m2) as provided in Section 42 of the Real Property Tax Act.
Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions

Notably exempt from real property tax is real property owned by public authorities, the Churches and benevolent or welfare institutions.

Rate(s) Structure

The computation of real property tax from the assessed value or adjusted economic value requires two operations.

The tax office determines from the relevant value the basic tax, this information being passed on to the municipality in question. The basic rates that are applied to the assessed value or adjusted economic value to obtain the basic tax are as follows:

  • From 2.6 to 3.5 per thousand for real property in the former federal area, according to type;
  • from 5 to 10 per thousand for real property in the new Länder (making allowance for the appreciably lower 1935 assessed values), according to type and category of municipality;
  • 6 per thousand for all agricultural and forestry undertakings.

Under Article 106 paragraph 6, second sentence, of the Basic Law, municipalities must be allowed to determine the rates at which real property tax is levied. The municipality therefore applies to the basic tax a multiplier fixed by its council and determines the tax by issuing a tax notice. In the new Länder, real property tax is sometimes still calculated in a simplified procedure at a flat rate according to the substitute assess­ment basis of residential or usable area and collected by means of provisional returns (Section 44 of the Real Property Tax Act). As the municipalities are free to fix the multiplier as they see fit, the tax burden may differ to a greater or lesser degree from one municipality to the next. In 2013, the average municipal multiplier amounted to 316% (2012: 311%) for Class A real property tax (agricultural and forestry establishments) and 436% (2012: 425%) for Class B (other real property).

Tax due date

In principle, the taxpayer is obliged to make quarterly payments on 15 February, 15 May, 15 August and 15 November.

Tax collector

The revenue from real property tax accrues solely to the municipalities. Many municipalities combine the imposition of real property tax with the collection from property owners of utility charges such as those for garbage disposal, street cleaning and drainage.

Special features

Economic function

Environmental taxes

Tax revenue
ESA95 code d29a

Annual tax revenue (millions)
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2012 12,015.00 EUR 0.44
2011 11,677.00 EUR 0.43
2010 11,313.00 EUR 0.44
2009 10,936.00 EUR 0.45
2008 10,808.00 EUR 0.42
2007 10,712.00 EUR 0.43
2006 10,397.00 EUR 0.43
2005 10,247.00 EUR 0.45
2004 9,941.00 EUR 0.44
2003 9,657.00 EUR 0.43
2002 9,261.00 EUR 0.42
2001 9,077.00 EUR 0.42
2000 8,848.00 EUR 0.42