Taxes in Germany on the sale of real estate: speculative tax

According to §23 EStG, profits from the sale of real estate are taxed with speculative tax called in German language “Spekulationssteuer”.
The amount of this tax is calculated on the basis of the profit from the sale, as well as individually for each taxpayer, therefore it ranges from 14 to 45%. The immediate role is the tax class the seller belongs to.

Payment of «Spekulationssteuer» can be avoided in the following cases:


Some ways to reduce the speculations tax «Spekulationssteuer»:

  1. Report the whole cost of purchasing real estate (purchase real estate tax, notary and registration fee in the Land Register, broker comission).
  2. Expenses related to the sale: the fee for assessing of the market value of the property; costs for advertising.
  3. Renovation costs: renovations with invoices attached. Very important: all repairs must be completed within the first three years after purchase.
  4. Depreciation of new and old buildings is approx. 2%, if it was taken into account when paying taxes.


Please note that there is a “Three Objects” rule in Germany. What does this mean and how does it work?

If the owner has sold not more than three properties during five years, it means a profit as an individual. If the amount of sold properties exceeds three real estate, for the tax office it means a commercial benefit. In this case, in addition to the speculative tax, the owner also pays the tax on "business activities".

An example of calculating a speculative tax:

The apartment was sold at a price of 450,000 euros
The apartment was purchased at a price of 380,000 euros
Winnings per sale: 70,000 after deduction of all costs: 45,000 Individual tax rate: 30%
The speculative tax will be: € 15.750

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and it cannot replace a full consultation with a tax consultant.

Our company INTECO Real Estate works with professional tax consultants and lawyers who specialize in real estate transactions and can provide advice in Englisch. We would be pleased to help you to resale your property in Germany with the best benefit. For more information, you can contact us by phone +49 163 4145195 (Viber, WhatsApp) or by email:

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