Peter Scheller
Berater für Wirtschaftsprüfer, Rechtsanwälte, Steuer- und Unternehmensberater

„Wenn es knifflig wird.“

Property Service Fees

von Peter Scheller

Property Service Fees

Individuals can claim tax deductions for expenses connected to private homes. These rules promote family homes but also secondary residences or holiday homes. In Germany these fees are called Haushaltsnahe Dienstleistungen.

Services must be linked to the household. These favourable regulations cover employments as well as services of service providers and tradesmen. 20% of expenses for employments and regular services can be deducted from the German income tax but not more than € 4,000 per year. For services of tradesmen one can deduct 20% of expenses but not more then € 1,200 per year.

Regular property service fees are for example:

  • Window cleaner
  • Snow clearing service
  • Facility manager/Caretaker
  • Housemaid
  • Housekeeper
  • Personal care
  • Gardner
  • Chimney sweeper
  • Removal services

The following services of tradesmen will be promoted:

  • Work on internal and external walls
  • Work on roof, facade, garage etc.
  • Repairing and replacement of windows
  • Painting of doors, windows, cupboards, radiators etc.
  • Work on floors (Replacement, modernising, maintenance)
  • Repairing, maintenance and replacement of heating systems, electric-, gas- and waterinstallations
  • Modernising and replacement of fitted kitchens
  • Assembly of new furniture
  • Modernising of bathrooms
  • Repairing and maintenance of washing machines, dishwashers, cookers, televisions, personal computers
  • Paving on private estate

Note: Only fees for manual work and for driving to workplace are allowed for deduction. Therefore invoices shall show fees for manual work and driving to work on one hand and costs of material on the other hand.

Expenses for flats in old people’s homes and nursing homes can also be deducted.

Homes and apartments in other countries of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EAA) are also covered by these favourable provisions. However, often it is difficult to get correct invoices of foreign service providers separating fees for manual work and costs of material.

Note: German tax authorities require also a proper bankstatement showing the payment to service providers.

Owner of flats and apartments can deduct fees for respective services if

  • yearly statements of common or additional expenses are shown specifically,
  • the part of tax deducible expenses for manual work and driving to work are shown separately and
  • all costs are shown separately for every single owner of a apartment or flat.

In general it is sufficient if the (co-)owner provides tax authorities with a special statement of a property manager.

Note: Tenants can deduct these costs if the landlord or property manager provides the tenant with a special property expenses statement.

Tenants can also claim additional expenses mentioned above.

Glossary

Household-related property   service fees Ausgaben für haushaltsnahe Dienstleistung
Houselod-related service fees of tradesmen Ausgaben für   haushaltsnahe Handwerkerleistungen
Property expense statement Hausgeldabrechnung
Income tax Einkommensteuer

Author: Peter Scheller, German Tax Adviser – Master of International Taxation

Bildquelle: www.fotalia.com

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