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Share Deal and Land Transfer Tax

Real estate law

Share Deal and Land Transfer Tax

Every buyer of a property located in Germany has to pay land transfer tax. It varies from state to state: in Saxony it is 3.5% of the purchase price, in Schleswig-Holstein 6.5%, and in Hesse, our home state, it is 6%.

Until now, the payment of the tax could be avoided by so-called "share deals" if the seller was a corporation and the buyer acquired the shares of the seller company. If the buyer initially acquired 94.9% of the shares (and after a waiting period of five years the remaining 5.1%) no tax was due.

The legislator has now reacted in the hope of closing this tax loophole: as of 1 July 2021, the shareholding limit has been lowered to 90% and the waiting period increased to ten years. If the remaining 10.1 percent of the property is then held after ten years, land transfer tax will be due on this alone. It remains to be seen whether the large real estate companies will be deterred by this.

Transfer of the property in the case of a divorce or separation decree it has long been disputed in Italy whether an agreement reached between spouses in divorce or separation proceedings would be sufficient to transfer the property to the new owner. Many district courts (among others Milan, Florence, Naples) took the view that the former spouses had to additionally commission a notary of the transfer. The united senates of the Court of Cassation have now spoken a clear word with their decision of 29 July (21761); the court confirmation of the divorce agreement is sufficient as a transfer title. The notary is no longer needed.