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Inheritance Tax, and How to Avoid it

It is difficult to compare international tax rates but the following information is instructive:

  • In the USA the spouse who survives has no obligation to pay. Other bequests over $1.5 US are subject to federal taxation of 45 percent, with additional local taxes pushing this number to over 50% in a number of states. In the time that the current administration was elected at the beginning of January 2001, the threshold was just $675,000, and it's more than doubled in only five years. The USA is now the country with the lowest inheritance tax in the world. You can visit online at https://inheritance-tax.co.uk/area/inheritance-tax/ to check to inherit taxes rates in your area.

  • In the UK, a spouse who has died has to pay nothing. Other bequests over PS275,000 (EUR396,000 Euro or $483,000 US) are subject to taxation at 40%.

  • In Germany, inheritance tax is payable by the beneficiary. spouses are charged 7% of inheritances that exceed EUR307,000 ($374,000 US), rising to 30% on estates over EUR25.9 million euros ($31.5 million US) on an escalating scale. Non-spouse relatives pay between 12% and 40%, while non-relatives pay 17% – 50% on inheritances that exceed the EUR 307,000 mark ($374,000 US), both increasing in a similar manner on a sliding scale.

  • In France the same way as in Germany the inheritance tax is payable to the person who is the recipient. The spouse who survives is liable for 5% of the estates exceeding EUR76,000 ($92,000 US), rising on a sliding scale of 40% for legacies over EUR1.776 million euros ($2.162 million US). Other relatives pay at the same rates, but with a lesser tax-free allowance. Non-relatives are able to pay up to 60%, with nearly no tax-free allowance.

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