Paying the special communal tax for unoccupied buildings or vacant development land

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Luxembourg communes are authorised to levy and collect a special annual tax on unoccupied or unused buildings and on vacant development land.

The purpose of this tax is to encourage owners to sell or rent their unused property or erect residential buildings on their land.

Currently, only the following 5 communes have enacted a regulation introducing the special tax on unoccupied buildings and vacant development land: Beckerich, Diekirch, Esch-sur-Alzette, Esch-sur-Sûre and Redange-sur-Attert.

Who is concerned?

The special tax is payable by any owner of or, in the case of the separation of ownership attributes, any usufructuary of, or holder of leasehold or emphyteutic rights to:

  • existing buildings or portions of existing buildings intended to be used as housing or accommodation and that are effectively unoccupied or unused. A building is determined to be unoccupied if no one is listed in the population registers as occupying the building, or if no one is identified as occupying the building as a secondary residence, for a period of 18 consecutive months;
  • building plots that have been deemed eligible to receive building permits for at least 3 years and on which construction works have not yet commenced. It is therefore not necessary for the owner to have already applied a building permit. The commune needs only to have identified the plot as a residential building plot, and to have determined that a building permit may, in theory, be granted.

When several persons are the co-owners of a building, or the co-holders of the leasehold or emphyteutic rights, they are jointly and severally liable to pay the special tax.

Communes may, at their discretion, waive the payment of the special tax, either in full or in part, especially in the following cases:

  • a building or planning project for the purpose of residential occupancy;
  • recently acquired property;
  • property used for an agricultural business;
  • a building plot or a dwelling reserved for personal residential or occupancy purposes by the owner of the plot themselves, or any of the owner’s children, for a period of time to be set by communal regulation.

Each commune may also enact regulations requiring owners of unoccupied buildings or portions of buildings in their communes, intended to be used for housing, to declare them to the communal administration within a time limit set by the communal council.

Owners who fail to fulfil the declaration requirements risk a fine of between EUR 1 and EUR 250.

How to proceed

Notification of the special tax and appeals

The party required to pay the special tax is notified by the council of mayors and aldermen,by registered letter, of the substantiated facts leading to the determination of the tax. The letter is sent to the domicile (for an individual) or registered office (for a company or organisation) of the taxable party for the property in question (owner, usufructuary, holder of the leasehold or emphyteutic rights), and specifies the amount of the special tax due. If the domicile or registered office of the taxable party is unknown, the notification may be made in the form of a notice posted at the site of the property in question.

Any taxable party who wishes to challenge the application of the special tax must submit a claim within 3 months of the date of notification or the date on which the notice was posted at the site of the property. This claim must be sent by registered mail in the form of a substantiated letter (for example, specifying and proving that the building is effectively occupied or has been occupied over the 18-month period used by the communal administration to establish the tax). The communal administration has 3 months to rule on the taxable party’s claim. The absence of a reply within this time limit means that the claim has been accepted.

Payment of the special tax

The taxable party must pay the tax upon receiving the assessment statement. This statement is sent by the communal tax authorities for the commune where the property is situated. Appeals lodged with administrative courts have no suspensive effect on the payment of the tax.

Luxembourg law provides that decisions concerning the introduction of the special tax as well as the procedures for its application, be established by communal regulation. Accordingly, regulations may vary from one commune to the next.

Application of the special tax

In its first year of application, the tax is governed by specific rules.

If the taxable party does not challenge the application of the tax within 3 months of receiving notice thereof, or within 3 months of the date on which a notice is posted at the site of the property, the tax is due for the first time in respect of the year during which the 3-month period came to an end.

For example:

Mr X is the owner of a flat that has been unoccupied since 1 June 2007.

He receives a letter from the communal administration on 1 February 2009, informing him that he will be subject to the special tax for his flat, which the authorities assert as having remained vacant for 20 consecutive months. Mr X does not challenge the application of the tax within the 3-month time limit (expiring on 1 May 2009). Consequently, he becomes liable to pay the special tax in respect of 2009.

If the date of notification had been 1 November 2009 (expiry of the 3-month period on 1 February 2009), Mr X would have been liable to pay the special tax for the first time in respect of 2010.

If the taxable party challenges the application of the tax within 3 months of receiving notice thereof, or within 3 months of the date of the posting of a notice at the site of the property, the tax is due for the first time in respect of the year during which the commune rejected the claim.

For example:

Mr X is the owner of a flat that has been unoccupied since 1 June 2007.

He receives a letter from the communal administration on 1 September 2009, informing him that he will be subject to the special tax for his flat, which the authorities assert as having remained vacant for 27 consecutive months.

Mr X challenges the application of the special tax by registered letter dated 15 November 2009. The communal administration rules on the claim by letter dated 20 January 2010, rejecting the arguments made by Mr X. Consequently, Mr X becomes liable to pay the special tax for the first time in respect of 2010.

Termination of the application of the tax

The special tax is no longer payable in the year following that in which the unoccupancy of the building came to an end. This fact may be noted by the commune or reported by the taxable party.

Obligations in the event of the sale of a property subject to the tax

In the event of the sale of a property subject to the special tax, the owner or the assignor of the rights must inform the buyer of the existence of this tax.

The seller is required to report to the communal administration, by registered letter and within 30 days of the signature of the deed of sale or transfer, the precise designation of the property subject to the special tax, the date of signature of the deed, the name(s) and address(es) of the acquirer(s) and the proof that the latter was or were informed that the property is subject to the special tax.

The former owner or the assignor remains liable to pay the special tax until such notification has been given.

The buyer or the assignee of the assigned rights has 30 days from the signature of the deed to inform the commune of their intention as regards the occupancy of the property.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Communal Administrations

  • Beaufort

    Address:
    9, rue de l'Eglise L-6315 Beaufort Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 86 93 88
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.30 (closed on Thursday afternoon) / open until 20.00 on Wednesdays
  • Bech

    Address:
    1, Enneschtgaass L-6230 Bech Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 06 74
    Email address:
    bech@pt.lu
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 17.00 (closed on Monday afternoons); Thursday: 13.00 - 19.00 (open until 17.00 during school holidays)
  • Beckerich

    Address:
    6, Dikrecherstrooss L-8523 Beckerich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 62 91 62
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 08.30 - 12.00; Wednesday: 08.30 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.45
  • Berdorf

    Address:
    5, rue de Consdorf L-6551 Berdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 91 89
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00; Monday to Wednesday: 14.00 - 16.00; Thursday: 14.00 - 19.00
  • Bertrange

    Address:
    2, beim Schlass L-8058 Bertrange Luxembourg
    B.P. 28 L-8005 Bertrange
    Fax:
    (+352) 26 31 27 57
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 13.00 - 16.00
  • Bettembourg

    Address:
    13, rue du Château L-3217 Bettembourg Luxembourg
    B.P. 29 L-3201 Bettembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 51 80 80-601
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30 / "Biergerzenter" open until 19.00 on Thursdays
  • Bettendorf

    Address:
    1, rue Neuve L-9353 Bettendorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 80 92 34
    Monday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 18.45; Tuesday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30 (closed on Wednesdays)
  • Betzdorf

    Address:
    11, rue du Château L-6922 Berg Luxembourg
    B.P. 2 L-6901 Roodt/Syre
    Fax:
    (+352) 77 00 82
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00 et 13.30 - 16.30
    (bureau de la population et état civil) / Uniquement sur RDV: lundi, mardi, jeudi, vendredi: 16.30 - 17.00; mercredi: 07.00 - 08.00
  • Bissen

    Address:
    1, rue des Moulins L-7784 Bissen Luxembourg
    B.P. 25 L-7703 Bissen
    Fax:
    (+352) 85 97 63
    Monday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 18.30 (only population service);
    Tuesday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 (closed on Thursday morning)
  • Biwer

    Address:
    6, Kiirchestrooss L-6834 Biwer Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 71 90 25
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 11.30
    (fermé le 1ier mercredi de chaque mois le matin, ouvert le 1ier mercredi de chaque mois l'après-midi de 14.00 - 18.00)
  • Boulaide

    Address:
    3, rue de la Mairie L-9640 Boulaide Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 36 92
    Monday, Thursday: 14.00 - 17.00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 08.30 - 12.00
  • Bourscheid

    Address:
    1, Schlassweee L-9140 Bourscheid Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 03 57-565
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00; Monday: 14.00 - 18.00; Tuesday to Friday: 14.00 - 16.00 (except on Wednesdays)
  • Bous-Waldbredimus

    Address:
    20, rue Luxembourg L-5408 Bous Luxembourg
    Phone:
    (+352) 28 86 04 01
    Biergerzenter
    Fax:
    (+352) 28 86 04 109
    Other services: please make an appointment during normal office hours
  • Clervaux

    Address:
    Montée du Château L-9712 Clervaux Luxembourg
    B.P. 35 L-9701 Clervaux
    Fax:
    (+352) 27 800-900
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 11.30; mardi à vendredi: 14.00 - 16.30
    mercredi ouvert jusqu'à 19.00 (uniquement bureau de la population, sauf la veille d'un jour férié)
  • Colmar-Berg

    Address:
    5, rue de la Poste L-7730 Colmar-Berg Luxembourg
    B.P. 10 L-7701 Colmar-Berg
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 55 43-225
    Monday to Thursday: 08.00 - 12.00; Wednesday: 13.00 - 17.00 (closed on Fridays)
  • Consdorf

    Address:
    8, route d'Echternach L-6212 Consdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 79 04 31
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.00; open until 18.00 on Tuesdays
  • Contern

    Address:
    4, Place de la Mairie L-5310 Contern Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 35 72 36
    Monday-Friday: 08.15 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 / or by appointment between 07.00 - 08.15 and 16.30 - 18.30
  • Dalheim

    Address:
    Gemengeplaz L-5680 Dalheim Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 60 53-50
    Closed Monday and Friday afternoon; appointments can be made for urgent administrative matters.
  • Diekirch

    Address:
    27, avenue de la Gare L-9233 Diekirch Luxembourg
    B.P. 145 L-9202 Diekirch
    Fax:
    (+352) 80 87 80-250
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.30 - 11.30 et 14.00 - 16.30 / Bureau de la population et état civil: mercredi jusqu'à 18.00
  • Differdange

    Address:
    40, avenue Charlotte L-4530 Differdange Luxembourg
    B.P. 12 L-4501 Differdange
    Fax:
    (+352) 58 77 1-1210
    Monday and Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 / the "Biergeramt" is also open on Saturday morning: 09.00 - 11.00
  • Dippach

    Address:
    11, rue de l'Eglise L-4994 Schouweiler Luxembourg
    B.P. 59 L-4901 Bascharage
    Fax:
    (+352) 27 95 25-299
    Email address:
    commune@dippach.lu
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.00; open until 18.00 on Mondays; Wednesday from 07.30
  • Dudelange

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-3590 Dudelange Luxembourg
    B.P. 73 L-3401 Dudelange
    Fax:
    (+352) 51 61 21-299
    Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00; Wednesday: 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-19.00; Thursday: 8.00-17.00
  • Echternach

    Address:
    2, place du Marché L-6460 Echternach Luxembourg
    B.P. 22 L-6401 Echternach
    Fax:
    (+352) 72 92 22-51
    Lundi à jeudi: 08.30 -11.30 et 14.00 - 16.30 ; vendredi: 08.30 - 13.00 heures / Bureau de la population et état civil: lundi ouvert jusqu’à 19.00
  • Ell

    Address:
    27, Haaptstrooss L-8530 Ell Luxembourg
    B.P. 9 L-8501 Redange/Attert
    Fax:
    (+352) 26 62 38-55
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 08.15 - 11.45; Thursday: 13.30 - 18.30
  • Erpeldange sur Sûre

    Address:
    21, Porte des Ardennes L-9145 Erpeldange-sur-Sûre Luxembourg
    B.P. 39 L-9001 Ettelbruck
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 97 08
    Monday: 07.30 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 18.00; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 07.30 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 16.30; closed on Wednesday
  • Esch sur Alzette

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette Luxembourg
    B.P. 145 L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette
    Fax:
    (+352) 54 35 14 667
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 17.00 ("Biergeramt")
  • Esch-sur-Sûre

    Address:
    1, an der Gaass L-9150 Eschdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 91 12-25
    Monday to Thursday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.00 - 16.30 ; open until 18.30 on Mondays, Friday: 08.00 - 11.30
  • Ettelbruck

    Address:
    Place de l'Hôtel de Ville L-9087 Ettelbruck Luxembourg
    B.P. 116 L-9002 Ettelbruck
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 91 81-364
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30; open until 18.30 on Wednesdays
  • Feulen

    Address:
    25, route de Bastogne L-9176 Niederfeulen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 81 79 08
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 08.00 - 12.00 (closed on Thursday morning and Friday afternoon); Monday; 13.00 - 16.00; Wednesday: 13.00-17.00,; Thursday: 13.00 - 18.00
  • Fischbach

    Address:
    1, rue de l'Eglise L-7430 Fischbach Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 32 70 84-50
    Monday-Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 18.00
  • Flaxweiler

    Address:
    1, rue de Berg L-6926 Flaxweiler Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 77 08 33
    Monday to Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30
  • Frisange

    Address:
    10, Munnerëferstrooss L-5701 Frisange Luxembourg
    B.P. 12 L-5701 Aspelt
    Fax:
    (+352) 23 66 06 88
    closed on Friday afternoon
  • Garnich

    Address:
    15, rue de l'Ecole L-8353 Garnich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 38 00 19 90
    Monday-Friday: 08.30-11.30; Monday: 14.00 - 18.00; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 14.00 - 16.00; Thursday afternoon closed.
  • Goesdorf

    Address:
    1, Op der Driicht L-9653 Goesdorf Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 89 91 73
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 08.30 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30; every 2nd Tuesday evening from 16.30-18.30 / closed on Wednesday.
  • Grevenmacher

    Address:
    6, Place du Marché L-6755 Grevenmacher Luxembourg
    B.P. 5 L-6701 Grevenmacher
    Fax:
    (+352) 75 03 11-80
  • Grosbous-Wahl

    Address:
    1, rue de Bastogne L-9154 Grosbous Luxembourg
    PO box 7 L-9006 Grosbous
    Fax:
    (+352) 83 86 55
  • Habscht

    Address:
    Place Denn L-8465 Eischen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 39 01 33-209
    Maison communale à Eischen: lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00; lundi, jeudi, vendredi: 13.00 - 17.00; mardi: 13.00 - 19.00; mercredi fermé / Bureau communal à Hobscheid: mercredi: 10.00 - 12.00 / Bureau communal à Septfontaines: mercredi: 13.30 - 16.30
  • Heffingen

    Address:
    2, am Duerf L-7651 Heffingen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 87 97 54
  • Helperknapp

    Address:
    2, rue de Hollenfels L-7481 Tuntange Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 28 80 40-299
    Monday: 08.00 – 11.30 / Tuesday: 07.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 / Wednesday: 08.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 (* Nocturne every first Wednesday of the month until 18.30 / Thursday: 08.00 – 11.30 and 13.30 – 16.30 (** Thursday afternoon by appointment only) / Friday: 08.h00 – 11.30.
  • Hesperange

    Address:
    474, route de Thionville L-5886 Hesperange Luxembourg
    B.P. 10 L-5801 Hesperange
    Fax:
    (+352) 36 00 06
    Monday to Friday: 07.45 - 11.45 and 13.30 - 17.00; open until 18.00 on Thursdays
  • Junglinster

    Address:
    12, rue de Bourglinster L-6112 Junglinster Luxembourg
    B.P. 14 L-6101 Junglinster
    Fax:
    (+352) 78 83 19
    Lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.30 et 13.00 - 16.30 / ouvert jeudi jusqu'à 19.00 (sauf la veille d'un jour férié)
  • Käerjeng

    Address:
    24, rue de l'Eau L-4920 Bascharage Luxembourg
    B.P. 50 L-4901 Bascharage
    Fax:
    (+352) 50 05 52 399
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.00 (or by appointment)
  • Kayl

    Address:
    4, rue de l'Hôtel de Ville L-3674 Kayl Luxembourg
    B.P. 56 L-3601 Kayl
    Fax:
    (+352) 56 33 23
  • Kehlen

    Address:
    15, rue de Mamer L-8280 Kehlen Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 30 91 91-200
    Monday-Friday: 07.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.00
  • Kiischpelt

    Address:
    7, op der Gare L-9776 Wilwerwiltz Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 92 06 15
    Monday to Friday: 09.00 - 11.30 and 14.00 - 16.30
  • Koerich

    Address:
    2, rue du Château L-8385 Koerich Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 39 73 62
  • Kopstal

    Address:
    28, rue de Saeul L-8189 Kopstal Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 30 04 15
    Monday to Friday: 07.30 - 12.00 and 13.30 - 16.00
  • Lac de la Haute-Sûre

    Address:
    7, Duerfstrooss L-9635 Bavigne Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 99 35 53
    Monday, Friday: 08.00 -11.30; Tuesday, Thursday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.30 (closed on Wednesdays)
  • Larochette

    Address:
    33, chemin J.A. Zinnen L-7626 Larochette Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 87 96 46
    Service population: lundi à vendredi: 08.00 - 12.00 et 14.00 - 17.00, lundi ouvert jusqu'à 19.00 / Sécrétariat et état civil: lundi à vendredi de 08.00 - 12.00 et 14.00 à 17.00
  • Lenningen

    Address:
    3, rue de l'Église L-5414 Canach Luxembourg
    Fax:
    (+352) 35 97 36
    Population office and civil registry office: Monday to Friday from 08.00 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 16.00; by prior appointment also on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 07.00 to 08.00 and on Wednesdays from 16.00 to 18.00
  • Leudelange

    Address:
    5, Place des Martyrs L-3361 Leudelange Luxembourg
    B.P. 32 L-3205 Leudelange
    Fax:
    (+352) 37 92 92 50
    Monday to Friday: 08.00 - 11.30 and 13.30 - 16.00; open until 18.30 on Thursdays
  • Lintgen

    Address:
    2, rue de Diekirch L-7440 Lintgen Luxembourg