Austrian Regulation on Land Registration Fees 2014 (Grundbuchsgebührenverordnung 2014)


Austrian Regulation on Land Registration Fees 2014 (Grundbuchsgebührenverordnung 2014)

Monday, 3 March, 2014

On December 27, 2013, the Austrian Regulation on Land Registration Fees was announced in the Federal Law Gazette No 511/2013 and enforced as of February 1, 2014. This regulation specifies the modalities to determine land registration fees following the purchase of properties pursuant to Article 26a Abs 3 Court Fees Act (Gerichtsgebührengesetz - GGG).

Normally the property registration fee (Eintragungsgebühr) amounts to 1.1 % of the assessment basis of the property right.

The new regulation finalizes the latest amendment for court fees, which was enforced as of January 1, 2013 changing the assessment basis (Bemessungsgrundlage) of registration fees. According to the former (unconstitutional) legislation a distinction has to be made whether the acquisition of real estate property was with or without payment. The significant difference is that the acquisitions without payment (e.g. donations) were calculated on the basis of three times the standard value (Einheitswert). Through the amendment of Article 26 GGG, the basis for the calculation of land registration fees shall from now on always be the market value (Verkehrswert) of the property, which usually is significantly higher than the standard value.

As an exception to this general rule and to mitigate the effects of the new legislation, the article 26a GGG has been amended. The new article provides the (former) assessment three times the standard value for preferential acquisitions, up to a maximum of 30 % of the market value. The preferential acquisitions of property includes real estate transfers with or without payment within the extended family, as well as corporate restructuring from the Federal Act on Corporate Restructuring (Umgründungssteuergesetz) and consolidation of shares within a business partnership.

The Austrian Regulation on Land Registration Fees brings important alterations particularly regarding the implementation of sales or donation contracts. It should be noted, that the party, respectively the party’s attorney, has to state the property’s market value within the electronic land registration request for the purpose of determining the fees, and provide documents to proof this figure.

The land registration request has to explicitly point out its classification as a preferential acquisition in accordance with article 26a GGG, as well as state the value of the reduced basis of assessment in order to obtain the reduced standard value, the legal requirment has to be adequately proven. The amount to be paid will be stipulated by the regional court in hindsight. Because of the decoupling of the bases for assessment, it is no longer possible to calculate the land registration fees and the real estate purchase tax in the same process. Therefore, the attorney’s self-assessment procedure of land registration fees (Selbstberechnungserklärung) is no longer possible.

In summary it can be said, that even though the costs for land registration have increased because of the amendment, the beneficiary scheme for the transfer of property within the family circle still exists.

Dr Stefan Gurmann / Mag Anna Schwamberger