Unit value

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The unit value is a value for undeveloped and developed land and leasehold rights , which is determined on a specific reference date in a legally regulated, standardized procedure and for taxes , fees and contributions (e.g. wealth tax , property tax , trade tax , inheritance tax , property transfer tax ) serves as the assessment basis .

Unit value in Germany

In Germany, standard values ​​are currently determined in accordance with Section 19 (1) BewG Valuation Act for domestic property , namely for land , business premises and agricultural and forestry assets .

In determining the legal provisions concerning the respective methods for the determination of unit values was indeed is trying to achieve, that the result of the actual value ( market value , market value comes close to) as possible; naturally, however, not all circumstances that influence the value can be taken into account in the determination. In the meantime, the unit values ​​deviate widely from the "common value" (according to § 9 ) of the property because they were determined on the basis of the value relationships at the time of the main determination date January 1, 1964 and January 1, 1935. On April 10, 2018, the Federal Constitutional Court announced that the previous calculation of the standard values ​​for land and houses in West Germany at the level of 1964 is unconstitutional. The legislator was given a deadline until the end of 2019 to revise the standard value determination.


Current meaning

The standard value is currently relevant for the following types of tax:

  • Rates :
    From the unit value is determined by the application of a basic tax rate of the basic tax-measured amount calculated.
  • Trade tax :
    For company property, the commercial income is reduced by 1.2% of the unit value of the company property. This is to avoid a double burden with property and trade tax. For this calculation, 140% of the standard value is to be assumed for properties located in the old federal states (value ratios from January 1, 1964). For properties in the acceding area (value ratios from January 1, 1935), the special regulations according to § 133 BewG must be observed. (see R 9.1 Paragraph 2 GewStR)
  • Second home tax : Many municipal statutes for the collection of second home tax use the standard value to determine the tax base.

Meaning in the past

In the past, the unit value was also important for the following taxes :

  • Property tax
    For the determination of taxable assets, the land was taken into account at 140% of the unit value. However, since this no longer corresponded to the actual value (unequal treatment with other assets), the wealth tax has not been levied since January 1, 1997 because it is unconstitutional.
  • Trade capital tax
    For the trade capital tax, the unit value of the
    business assets with certain additions and settlements was taken into account up to the survey period 1997 (§ 12 GewStG old version).
  • Inheritance and gift tax
    The valuation of the taxable acquisition was based on the unit value for shares in unlisted corporations , real estate and business assets. The unequal valuation of real estate and capital was declared by the Federal Constitutional Court on June 22, 1995 to be incompatible with the Basic Law . In the judgment , the valuation with the standard values ​​was limited to tax dates up to December 31, 1995.
    For taxation dates from January 1, 1996, domestic land, agricultural and forestry assets and company land are valued at the real estate values ​​(also known as required values). For shares in non-listed corporations, the valuation was carried out according to the Stuttgart method .
  • Real estate transfer tax
    For special cases in which consideration was not available or could not be determined, the unit value of the property was used as the assessment basis . Since January 1, 1997, the property values (
    required values ) have also been used as a basis for determining the property transfer tax .

Determination procedure

The unit value is always determined on a key date; this is January 1st of the year following the change in value of the property or the creation of a new "economic unit". The unit values ​​are determined separately by declarations from the tax authorities . As part of the determination, the value, type and attribution of the object are determined ( § 20 BewG). As a result of the separate determination, the standard value assessment is a basic assessment (now only for the base tax amount). Objections to the amount of property tax can therefore only be raised from a procedural point of view by contesting the standard value notice.

Main finding

At the main determination time, a unit value is determined for all economic units. The first main finding was made on January 1, 1935 when the standard values ​​were introduced. According to the legal regulation, a new main determination of the unit values ​​should take place every six years. Because of the war, this only happened on January 1, 1964, and that only in the Federal Republic. However, because of the high level of effort involved, no further main findings were made here either. The valid unit values ​​of the properties therefore correspond to the value relationships on January 1, 1964 for the west and January 1, 1935 for the east. Therefore, the unit value is currently far below the real purchase value.

Re-determination / cancellation of the unit value

If a new economic unit is created after the main date of assessment - for example, by parceling a plot of land, a subsequent assessment is made for the newly created units. If an economic unit ceases to exist, the unit value is canceled.


Changes between two main findings are recorded via updates. A distinction is made between the following updates:

  • Update of the value if the value of the property changes, for example due to construction work or a change in the area and the limits of Section 22 BewG are exceeded
  • Update of attribution if the owner changes
  • Type update if the type of use changes, for example from business assets to real estate (predominantly private use) or z. B. from undeveloped property to developed property (single-family house, two-family house or rental property)
  • If a unit value determination is incorrect, but already final, which means that there is no longer any possibility of change according to the provisions of the tax code, the error can be corrected with effect from next January 1st by means of an "error-eliminating update" .

Determination of the standard values

Agricultural and forestry assets

The unit value for agricultural and forestry assets is made up of the value for the economic part and, if applicable, the value for the residential part. Here, quite complicated individual regulations must be observed in accordance with the various (agricultural, forestry, viticultural, horticultural, other) uses of the property area.

Basic assets

In determining the unit value of the land and buildings is to distinguish on the one hand between developed and undeveloped land. On the other hand, the type of property must be distinguished in the case of built-up properties. Finally, there are special regulations for heritable building rights , apartment and part ownership as well as for buildings on third-party land.

Capitalized earnings method

With a few exceptions, rental properties, commercial properties, mixed-use properties, single-family houses and two-family houses must be valued using the discounted earnings method. Here, the achievable annual gross rent (according to the prices of the current main assessment date January 1, 1935 or January 1, 1964) is multiplied by a certain multiplier. The duplicator is tabulated in Appendices 3–8 of the Assessment Act and takes into account the year of construction and construction of the building as well as the size of the municipality in which the property is located. For certain value-reducing and value-increasing circumstances, a discount or a surcharge can be considered.

The gross annual rent is the total amount that a tenant or leaseholder has to pay for the use of the property for a full calendar year. With a few restrictions, all of the annual contributions and operating costs to be paid by the tenant must be included in the annual gross rent. Only sublet surcharges, operating costs for central heating, costs for hot water preparation and elevator costs are not included. In the case of owner-occupied, unused and unpaid property, the “local rent” is to be applied as the annual gross rent. This also applies to land that the owner has given the tenant for an actual rent that differs by more than 20%. The rent customary for the location is based on the annual gross rent for the corresponding premises. The local rent index can be used as an aid.

Real asset method

For undeveloped and other built-up properties, as well as for properties for which an annual gross rent or a normal rent cannot be determined, as well as for so-called luxury buildings, the unit value is to be determined using the material value method. This valuation method is based on the intrinsic value of the property.

The values ​​for the property, the building and the outdoor facilities are added together here. The building value is usually multiplied by multiplying the enclosed space (in m³) by the average production costs corresponding to the type of construction. After determining this value, a value deduction is to be made here in particular based on the age of the building.

The sum of the three values ​​is then adjusted using a legally prescribed value number.

Business premises

There are still peculiarities when assigning land to business assets (company land ). In contrast to income tax law , a property that is partly used for commercial and partly private purposes cannot be divided up under valuation law ( Section 99 (2) BewG). It follows that a plot of land which is used for more than 50% operational purposes is fully operational. A property that is used for less than 50% operational purposes is fully real estate. Company properties are to be valued like real estate or agricultural and forestry assets.

This determination as part of the unit valuation no longer has any tax effects, but the classification of these properties in the needs assessment is based on the same criteria. Therefore, this distinction with regard to the high inheritance tax exemptions for business assets is still important when assessing needs.

Special features in the new federal states

In the new federal states, a standard valuation was not carried out for January 1, 1964 ( § 125 to 128 BewG). Substitute economic values ​​are therefore taken into account for agricultural and forestry assets. For real estate based on unit values ​​determined on January 1, 1935, higher rates are sometimes used ( § 129 to 133 BewG).

Future meaning of the unit value

It has been under discussion for a long time whether the administrative effort for the unit valuation can still be justified in view of the low tax significance of the unit values. What originally served to simplify taxes (only one determination for many types of tax) has now degenerated into bureaucratism only for property tax. However, a reform proposal from the states of Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate was not implemented.

Unit value in Austria

The unit value is a tax measure for real estate. This value is determined by the tax office, based on the Valuation Act (BewG). The unit value is used to assess various taxes (e.g. property tax or income tax for agricultural and forestry businesses). The unit value is usually far below the market value.

For the assessment of the property transfer tax , the unit value was replaced by the property value as of January 1, 2016 for certain acquisitions, especially in families .

Undeveloped land

For the common value of the land, the 1973 value ratios are decisive, which are derived from comparative prices from the purchase price collection of the tax office.

Developed land

The unit value is calculated from the land and building value. The building value results from the new construction values ​​according to the appendix to § 53a BewG less the depreciation for wear and tear (generally 1.3% per year, but only up to the reference date January 1, 1973 - last main determination of the real estate). According to Section 53 BewG, the sum of the land and building value must be reduced (25% to 60%) depending on the main property group.

Agriculture and Forestry

The unit values ​​for economic units of agricultural and forestry assets were redefined as of January 1, 2014 (Section 20c BewG). The new unit values ​​are effective for property tax and income tax from January 1, 2015, and for the contribution bases for farmers' social insurance from 2017.


  • Reinhard Stöckel: The property tax reform - forgotten by the BVerfG and long overdue . NWB 2005, p. 2243

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Werner Högl in Lorenz Gürsching / Alfons Stenger, Valuation Law , margin no. 4 to § 19 BewG
  2. BVerfG, judgment of April 10, 2018, Az .: 1 BvL 11/14 et al
  3. BVerfG, judgment of June 22, 1995, Federal Tax Gazette. Part I, p. 671
  4. Hans-Werner Högl in Lorenz Gürsching / Alfons Stenger, Valuation Law , margin no. 6.1 to § 19 BewG
  5. Federal Act of July 13, 1955 on the Valuation of Property (Valuation Act 1955 - BewG. 1955) StF: Federal Law Gazette No. 148/1955 as amended by Federal Law Gazette No. 231/1955 (DFB) (NR: GP VII RV 579 AB 590 S . 74. BR: p. 107.), RIS , accessed on March 2, 2017
  6. Market value, unit value, market value. The most important differences Immobilien Scout GmbH, accessed on March 2, 2017
  7. Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Finance regarding the determination of the property value (Land Value Ordinance - GrWV) StF: Federal Law Gazette II No. 442/2015. RIS , accessed March 2, 2017