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Germany Corrected Inheritance Tax EU Law Breach

The European Commission announced on March 31 that it has closed infringement proceedings against Germany after its inheritance tax laws were brought into line with European Union rules.

The Commission said that, under previous German law, domestic charities were granted an exemption from inheritance tax, but similar charities established in other European Union/European Economic Area member states only enjoyed this exemption if their state of residence granted an equivalent or reciprocal exemption to comparable German charities.

According to the EC, these rules meant that legacies to foreign charities were often taxed more heavily. As a result, in October 2014, the Commission requested that Germany amend its inheritance tax legislation because it breached EU rules on the free movement of capital.

However, the EC has disclosed that the infringement proceedings were closed on February 25, 2016, because Germany’s IHT laws are now compliant.

“As a result of an infringement procedure initiated by the European Commission, Germany amended its legislation and will no longer treat legacies established in other EU/EEA States less favorably than legacies to certain charities established in Germany,” the EC said.germany

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