Starting 1 July 2021, the transfer tax on German real estate (similar to Switzerland’s ‘Handänderungssteuer’) is expected to also be levied if at least 90% of the shares in a corporation that owns real estate change hands, directly or indirectly, within a rolling 10-year time frame. The aim of this reform to German law is to put a stop to tax avoidance structures. Until now, real estate share deals, unlike asset deals, could be structured in such a way that the real estate transfer tax – set at between 3.5% and 6.5% of the purchase price depending on the location or federal state – did not apply. To accomplish this, a co-investor, who was neither indirectly nor directly controlled by the buyer, would hold a minimum share of 5.1% (for example). Artificial structures were then developed in practice with the purpose of saving on tax. The current German real estate transfer tax reform, which is close to being passed, is designed to negate these structures (the German Bundestag adopted the measures on 21 April 2021). As such, it will no longer be possible to acquire all shares of a company immediately by involving a co-investor without paying real estate transfer tax. The collateral damage resulting from this change may, however, prove to be immense, as the new regulations could also affect every industrial company that happens to own real estate. This consequence will be mitigated to an extent by the introduction of a stock market clause. Transfers of shares and fund shares that take place on certain stock markets or at other trading venues will not count and will not trigger the real estate transfer tax.