Tax-exempt sale of property – Self-use in the year in which the sale takes place is essential
The speculation period for properties where there is no own use is basically ten years. That is the case if the house or flat is let. The speculation period for properties that are self-used is significantly shorter. In order for there to be a presumption of self-use where no tax would have to be paid, a property would have to have been used for your own residential purposes either over the entire period between its acquisition and sale, or in the year in which the sale took place as well as in the two preceding years.
The BFH, in its ruling from 3.8.2022 (case reference: IX B 16/22) precisely defined the conditions for self-use. This would be the case “in the year in which the sale took place as well as in the two preceding years” if there had been self-use
- in the year in which the sale took place and the year before the previous year on at least one day and
- continuously in the year preceding the year in which the sale took place.
However, in the case in question, there had been no more self-use for own residential purposes in the year in which the sale took place so that the property owner making the claim was no longer able to invoke tax exemption due to self-use.
Outcome: For a tax-exempt sale of a property within the ten-year time limit it is thus necessary to have a consecutive period of self-use of one year and two days that has to have stretched over three calendar years and ended in the year in which the sale took place.