Pay inheritance/gift tax Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Through the inheritance tax, the transfer of assets is taxed upon the death of the testator.

Gift tax is a tax on the acquisition of assets by gift between living persons. Inheritance and gift tax are regulated by the same law.

The question of whether and to what extent inheritance/gift tax is payable depends on the value of the acquisition and the family relationship. The relationship between the acquirer and the testator/ donor determines which tax class is applicable within the meaning of the Inheritance Tax Act. Each acquirer is entitled to a personal tax-free allowance, which applies both to acquisitions due to death and to gifts. The personal tax-free amount can be used again by gifts every 10 years.

The inheritance tax (gift tax) is subject to

  1. acquisition by reason of death (e.g. inheritance, bequest)
  2. donations between living persons
  3. the purposes
  4. the assets of a foundation, provided that it is set up essentially in the interest of a family or certain families, at intervals of 30 years (substitute inheritance tax)


  • Inheritance tax generally arises upon the death of the testator.
  • The gift tax arises at the time when the gift is made. This is the case when the donee has received what the giver intended to give him and he can dispose of it freely.

The circumstances at the time the tax arises (valuation date) are decisive for the tax calculation.


The acquisition can be notified to the tax office responsible for inheritance and gift tax by an informal letter, unless notification is not required.

You can also request a form for notification of the acquisition or a declaration form from the tax office responsible for inheritance or gift tax.

General inquiries can also be sent to the e-mail address .

  • Erbschaftsteuer- und Schenkungsteuergesetz (ErbStG)

Every acquisition subject to inheritance and gift tax must be reported by the purchaser (and in the case of gifts also by the donor) to the tax office responsible for inheritance and gift tax within three months of obtaining knowledge of the accrual of assets.

The competent tax office is determined by the last residence of the testator or donor. If the donor lives abroad/has his residence abroad, the tax office at the place of residence of the donee is always responsible.

In the State of Bremen, the tax office in Bremerhaven is centrally responsible for the assessment and collection of inheritance and gift tax.

A notification is not necessary:

  • if the acquisition is based on a will drawn up by a notary or court
  • in the case of a gift, if the gift has been legally or notarially recorded.

If necessary, the competent tax office will request an inheritance tax return or gift tax return from the parties involved.

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