European Commission proposes measures to tackle cross-border inheritance tax problems
EU citizens who 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 on 15 December 2011 adopted a comprehensive package on inheritance taxation.
Through a Communication (COM/2011/864 ), Recommendation (2011/856/EU ) and Working Paper (SEC/2011/1488) , the Commission analyses the problems and presents solutions related to cross-border inheritance tax in the EU. For further information see the press release (IP/11/1551 ), the frequently asked questions (MEMO/11/917 ), the Impact assessment (SEC/2011/1489) , its summary (SEC/2011/1490) , and the citizens' summary . See also an article by EU Commissioner Šemeta. Copyright Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, article first published in STEP Journal Volume20/Issue2.