Table of contents:
- Tax return: income from renting and leasing
- You can deduct these costs and save taxes
- 1. Acquisition and manufacturing costs
- 2. Cost of modernization
- 3. Operating costs for apartment rental
- You have to expect these costs per square meter per month:
- 4. Deduct advertising costs from tax
- 5. Rent out an apartment with furniture
- 6. Travel expenses for apartment rentals
- 7. Save taxes on office expenses
- 8. Tax consultant and attorney expenses
- 9. Save taxes on vacant apartments
- 10. Rent the apartment
Video: Rent an apartment and save taxes
If you rent apartments, you can save some taxes. As a rule, all costs of purchase or new construction, maintenance or repairs for rented properties can be deducted from the tax. We explain to you what the tax office pays attention to and which tax saving options you can use to secure all the benefits.
Anyone who buys and rents residential property has to pay tax on the monthly rental income, but can share the expenses with the state and thereby save tax. For many, the tax return is a chore, because tax law in Germany is not particularly transparent. Therefore, as a property owner, you should carefully inform yourself about the options that can be used to save taxes.
Tax return: income from renting and leasing
In order to be able to deduct the expenses for your residential property from the tax, you have to fill in the attachment 'income from renting and leasing' in your tax return. So that all costs can be taken into account in the tax return, it is also very important that all expenses can be documented with an invoice or receipt. You should therefore carefully collect and keep all receipts.
You can deduct these costs and save taxes
As a rule, all costs of purchase or new construction, maintenance or repairs for rented apartments can be deducted from the tax.
Photo: Fotalia / Gina Sanders
1. Acquisition and manufacturing costs
All costs incurred in the acquisition or production of your rental property (excluding the acquisition costs for the property) are amortized over 50 years - annually with two percent of the building costs (construction before 1925: 40 percent for 40 years).
2. Cost of modernization
The costs for the modernization will be tax deductible immediately and in full. Alternatively, you can spread the expenditure over up to five equal annual installments and deduct it. Have you spent more than 15 percent (excluding VAT) of the purchase price for the building on the repair within the first three years after purchase? Then the costs must be written down together with the building costs over 50 years. Anyone who renews at least three of four core areas (these are electrical, heating and sanitary facilities and the windows) must also write off over the long term.
You can immediately deduct modernization costs from tax or spread them over up to five annual installments.
Photo: Fotolia / Halfpoint
3. Operating costs for apartment rental
The monthly operating costs are usually borne by the tenant if this has been expressly agreed in the rental agreement. It must be recorded in writing that advance payments are to be made on the operating costs and that these advance payments can also be increased accordingly in the event of increased costs. Therefore, as the landlord, you have to state this as income in the tax return, but you can then deduct it again as an advertising cost.
You have to expect these costs per square meter per month:
|Property tax||0.19 euros|
|Water (incl. Waste water)||0.39 euros|
|Water heating||0.28 euros|
|Street cleaning||0.05 euros|
|Garbage disposal||0.19 euros|
|Building cleaning||0.14 euros|
|Garden maintenance||0.14 euros|
|Current in general)||0.05 euros|
|Chimney cleaning||0.04 euros|
|facility manager||0.19 euros|
|Cable or antenna||0.11 euros|
4. Deduct advertising costs from tax
You claim the costs of advertising immediately. This includes interest on home loan and mortgage loan, house money and property tax, insurance contributions, maintenance and repair costs. You also pay distance payments to tenants for early evacuation, costs for administrators and for advertisements to find tenants.
5. Rent out an apartment with furniture
Are you renting out an apartment with all inventory, such as furniture and kitchen? Then you can also claim the costs for the purchase of the equipment and objects and save taxes.
Please note: Furnishings that do not exceed a net value of 410 euros can still be stated in the tax return in the year of purchase. If the acquisition costs exceed this value, the items must be depreciated over several years.
If you rent a furnished apartment, you can also deduct the cost of the furnishings from the tax.
6. Travel expenses for apartment rentals
Travel expenses to your rental property are reduced by 30 cents per kilometer, as are any accommodation costs.
7. Save taxes on office expenses
If you, the landlord, market, rent and manage an apartment completely independently, you can claim costs for telephone or writing utensils as office costs.
8. Tax consultant and attorney expenses
The costs for a tax consultant or lawyer that arise in connection with the rental of an apartment can also be deducted from the tax.
9. Save taxes on vacant apartments
If the property is empty, continue to claim advertising costs. However, in the event of a long vacancy, the tax authorities will check whether you really want to rent. In order to secure the tax advantage, prove your intent to rent - with advertisements or by commissioning a broker. If the property cannot be rented due to its condition, you have to remodel the apartment to demonstrate the intention to generate income (BFH, Az. IX R 54/08).
10. Rent the apartment
If you are the owner of a holiday home in Germany that is only rented out, you can also claim it for tax purposes. You deduct the full advertising costs if the apartment is occupied on at least 75 percent of the usual rental days.
The local tourism association knows how many weeks or months a year are usual. The property is 25 percent and more empty? Then you have to prove your intention to generate income through a surplus forecast. Or you can give good reasons for the short rental period, such as extensive renovation work.