The EU has released recommendations to tackle the problem of cross-border inheritance tax. At present European citizens that inherit foreign property are frequently faced with a tax bill from more than one Member State. In the most extreme cases the total value of a cross-border inherited asset might even have to be paid in tax, because several Member States may claim taxing rights on the same inheritance or tax foreign inheritances more heavily than local inheritances. Citizens may then be forced to sell inherited assets, just to cover the taxes, and small business may face transfer difficulties on the death of their owners.
To tackle these problems the Commission has adopted a comprehensive package on inheritance taxation. The Commission will launch discussion with Member States to ensure appropriate follow up on the Recommendation. It will also assist all Member States in bringing their inheritance laws into line with EU law. The Commission will present an evaluation report in three years time to show how the situation has evolved and decide whether any further measures are necessary.
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