How to deduct gardening from the tax

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Tax benefits can not be claimed only through a house. Gardening can also be deducted from the tax. In order to keep track of the tax declaration, we explain to you which gardening work you can exactly cite and what must be respected in any case.
The usual deadline for filing the tax return is, of course, also in the case of gardening. It must be submitted to your local tax office by the end of May. You can deposit up to 5,200 euros per year, which are divided into household-related services and craft services.

Who are the tax benefits?

The tax benefits apply to homeowners as well as tenants who have commissioned gardening. Landlords charge the expenses as income-related expenses (these also apply to garden work on holiday homes). As separate assessed spouses, you are entitled to 50% tax credit. It does not matter if it is a redevelopment or a redesign of the garden, but there are three important conditions to fulfill in order to enjoy tax benefits.

Lay turf roll

If the turf is laid by a horticultural company, the handicrafts can be deducted from the tax

1. The house belonging to the garden must be inhabited by the owner. Also, cottages and allotments that are not inhabited all year round, includes the scheme with. According to the letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance dated 9 November 2016 (file reference: IV C 8 - S 2296-b / 07/10003: 008), second-, holiday- or weekend apartments are even expressly favored. Gardens or households located in other European countries pay off if their main place of residence is in Germany.

2. Furthermore, the gardening may not coincide with a new construction of the house. This means that a winter garden, which is created in the course of a new construction, can not be deducted for tax purposes.

3. A maximum of 20 percent of the costs incurred per year can be deducted from the tax. In general, for all craftsman services, you can deduct 20 percent of the labor costs and a maximum of 1,200 euros a year in the tax return.

The tax declaration must distinguish between a craft service and a household service.

Home Services

Lay paving stones

The laying of paving stones, for example when building a terrace, is one of the craft services

So-called craft services are one-off jobs such as repairs, landfills, a well bore or the construction of a terrace. But not only the labor costs of craft activities are part of the craftsmanship. Also included are labor, machinery and travel costs, including VAT, and the cost of consumables such as fuel.
The Federal Finance Court (BFH) decided in its judgment of 13 July 2011, that in craft services per year 20 percent of a maximum of 6,000 euros may be sold, so a total of 1,200 euros (Basis §35a, Abs. 3 EStG). If the expenses are expected to exceed the maximum amount of EUR 6,000, advance payments or installment payments are recommended to spread over two years. The decisive factor for the deduction is always the year in which the total bill was settled or an installment was transferred. If you hire a company to do the work for you, you need to make sure it's properly reported. Paid services from friends or neighbors who have not registered a trade can not be cited.

Household services

Cut hedge

Cutting the hedge is a household-related service

Home-based services include ongoing care and maintenance such as lawn mowing, pest control and hedge trimming. This work is usually done by members of the household or employees. You can deduct 20 percent of the tax from 20,000 euros, which is 4,000 euros. Simply deduct the amounts directly from your tax debt.

What to look out for

If the costs do not accrue on your own property, such as the winter service on the service road, these may not be claimed. In addition, material costs, such as purchased plants or administrative fees, as well as the costs of disposal and appraisal activities, do not have a tax-reducing effect.
Keep invoices for at least two years and pay VAT. Many tax offices recognize the costs mentioned only if the payment receipt, such as a receipt or a transfer slip with a matching bank statement, is attached to the corresponding invoice.Also, keep the material costs separate from the labor, travel, and machinery costs, as you will be taxpayers only for the last three types of cost.
Important: Never pay deductible invoices for larger sums in cash, but always by bank transfer - only in this way can the cash flow be documented in a legally secure manner if the tax office asks. For sums of up to 100 euros, a receipt is usually sufficient.

Video Board: Growing debate over eliminating state, local deductions.

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