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German Real Estate Tax Law

Advice on the acquisition, management and sale of real estate

Real estate, such as houses, apartments or commercial properties, remains one of the most important forms of investment in view of the ongoing phase of low interest rates. Compared to other classic investment forms, they promise higher yield prospects.

The yield success of real estate is largely dependent on the underlying tax conditions. At each stage of the "life cycle" of a real estate investment, tax issues arise that should be considered in the investment decision in advance. The subject of real estate and taxes is varied, complex and usually involves different types of taxes.

Our clients in German real estate tax law

Our clients include

  • institutional investors,
  • real estate developers and
  • wealthy private individuals.

We would be happy to advise you in all aspects of real estate tax law in Germany during the entire life cycle of your property: investment or development, holding or management and finally sale.

Our consulting services in real estate tax law

Phase 1: Investment/Acquisition/Development
  • Assessment and implementation of the optimal investment structure, in particular with regard to
    • the real estate transfer tax and optimization possibilities with so-called share deals,
    • the value added tax obligation and any input tax corrections in accordance with Section 15a of the German Value Added Tax Act (UStG) in the event of acquisition as part of the sale of an entire company,
    • avoiding trade tax on subsequent holding and management
  • Drafting and negotiation of tax clauses in the sales contract to reduce possible liability risks
  • Advice for real estate developers and general contractors on construction tax deduction according to Section 48 EStG (Bauabzugsteuer)
Phase 2: Holding/Managing
  • Advice on accounting and current taxation issues regarding
    • Income and corporate income tax
    • Value added tax
    • Property tax according to the recent property tax reform
  • Trade tax optimization through the use of foreign SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles), e.g. by means of the so-called extended trade tax reduction
Phase 3: Exit/Sale
  • Advice on the tax-optimized exit from the real estate investment
  • Optimization of the taxation of the capital gain in terms of income tax, corporate tax and trade tax
  • Examination of the limited tax liability on the sale of shares in corporations with German real estate ownership (so-called property-rich or real-estate-rich corporations) according to Section 49 (1) No. 2 (b) cc Income Tax Act
  • Real estate transfer tax optimization
  • Consulting on value added tax, in particular on the so-called sale of the company as a whole
  • Drafting and negotiation of tax clauses in the sales contract to delimit the liability for tax debts
  • Consulting on inheritance/gift tax in the case of property succession

Your attorney for German real estate tax law

Do you have questions about the taxation of your property in Germany? Would you like to make your investment structure as tax-efficient as possible? Your contacts are attorney and tax advisor Lars-Olaf Leskovar as well as attorney Christian Kempges. We offer the necessary expertise for all possible structuring options. Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions. The easiest way to reach us is to call (+49 (0)69 76 75 77 80) or send us an e-mail (


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