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European Commission proposes measures to tackle cross-border inheritance tax problems


Brussels, 15 December 2011 –

European Commission proposes measures to tackle cross-border inheritance tax problems

EU citizens that inherit foreign property are frequently faced with a tax bill from more than one Member State. In fact, in 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 be forced to sell inherited assets, just to cover the taxes, and small businesses may face transfer difficulties on the death of their owners. To tackle these problems, the Commission today adopted a comprehensive package on inheritance taxation. Through a Communication, Recommendation and Working Paper, the Commission analyses the problems and presents solutions related to cross-border inheritance tax in the EU. Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, commented:

“Benjamin Franklin once said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Unfortunately, when you put the two together, a huge amount of uncertainty seems to arise. The burden of cross-border inheritance tax can be crippling for citizens, due to discrimination and double taxation. Small changes in Member States’ rules to make them more coherent with each other   could deliver real benefits for hundreds of thousands of people across Europe. This is what we aim to achieve.”

Source: European Commission –

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