When to pay taxes

Regardless of whether it is a student room, an apartment at the workplace or a holiday home in the mountains: anyone who uses a second home has to register it. This could get expensive.

A secondary residence can have many advantages: the way to work is shorter, you create a second home or have your own holiday home to switch off and recharge your batteries. But such a second home also generates costs.

We explain what distinguishes it from the main residence, how and where to register the secondary residence and what applies to tax.

What is a second home?

A Second home is an abode that you next to yours Main residence use. According to the Federal Registration Act (BMG), the main residence is the place where you mainly stay or – as it is called in tax law – the place for the “center of life’s interests”.

The difference is important. Because with spouses and work-related second homes, the decisive factor is not how much time someone spends in a particular apartment, but where the center of their life is.

So if you buy an apartment close to your place of work in order to avoid long driving times, your main residence is with the family in the other city even if you stay in your apartment five days a week. Further Examples of secondary apartments are shared rooms of students or trainees and your own holiday home.

Do I have to register a second home?

Yes. For every main and second home in Germany Reporting requirement. It does not matter whether you buy or rent the secondary apartment. You have to register after moving in two weeks (ยง 21 BMG).

If you exceed this deadline, you face a fine. However, many offices are so overloaded that they often do not even manage to get an appointment within 14 days. But you should at least show goodwill by even trying to get an appointment within the deadline.

Do you already know you no longer than six months However, you do not have to report to the residents’ registration office at all. The same applies if you live in certain communal accommodation or accommodation provided for work – for example with soldiers or during the federal voluntary service.

How and where do I register a secondary apartment?

In order to register a second home, in most cases you still have to personally at the residents ‘registration office or citizens’ office be present. But the federal government has cleared the way for that Registration and registration of the residence via smartphone.

All federal states are to offer this service by November 2021. In order to be able to use it, you need an identity card with an online identification function. With this and your smartphone, you then register with the responsible office, whereupon you get one Letter with a code to your new address. You will then register online at the office again – the registration is complete.

The one necessary so far Certificate from the landlord This does not apply to rented apartments. So far, landlords have to confirm who has recently moved into the apartment.

Do I have to pay taxes on the second home?

Whether you Second home tax have to pay depends on the municipality. Each community can decide for itself, including what the Amount of tax concerns. The levy can therefore vary considerably from place to place.

Tax base for the amount of the second home tax is annual net rent. You can find out whether you have to pay taxes on your second home from the competent person Registration office. For students and trainees without an income of their own there are in some municipalities Exception rules.

The background to the second home tax is that you use public roads and facilities during your stay, but the city does not receive a subsidy for you from the municipal financial equalization scheme.

Are costs for the second home tax deductible?

The Cost of a second home you can under certain circumstances deduct from tax. The tax office must first recognize the second home. Equipment and size play a role, how often and for how long you stay there and which social contacts you maintain and where.

In order to be able to deduct the second home from the tax, the costs more than 10 percent of the running costs of the main residence be. Then employees can claim the additional costs as a double housekeeping. This is not possible for students and trainees.


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