Inheritance tax, information and jurisdiction based on the testator's surname
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Ermittlung der zuständigen Erbschaftssteuerstelle nach Namen
Inheritance tax taxes the transfer of assets to another (natural or legal) person in connection with an inheritance. It basically arises with the death of the testator.
For the tax calculation, the circumstances at the time the tax arises are decisive (valuation date). Any acquisition subject to inheritance tax must be reported to the responsible tax office by the purchaser (e.g. heir, legatee) within three months of becoming aware of the accrual of assets. A notification is generally not required if the acquirer is based on a death disposition opened by a German court or German notary (will, contract of inheritance) and the (family) relationship between the acquirer and the testator is unquestionably clear from the disposition. In these cases, however, the purchaser's obligation to notify continues if his acquisition includes real estate, business assets, unlisted shares in corporations or foreign assets.
Inheritance tax is only set if certain personal allowances are exceeded. The amount of the exemptions depends on the family relationship to the deceased.
In order to comply with the notification requirement, the acquisition can be communicated to the tax office responsible for inheritance tax with an informal letter or using the form provided on the Internet (see links). The forms required for the inheritance tax return can also be accessed on the Internet or requested from the responsible tax office.




In Hamburg, the tax office for transfer taxes and real estate is responsible for the administration of inheritance tax. The tax office for transfer taxes and property is responsible if the testator's last place of residence was in Hamburg.

The following allowances must be observed:

  • Spouses and life partners: EUR 500,000;
  • Children and stepchildren, children of deceased children: EUR 400,000;
  • Grandchildren: EUR 200,000;
  • Parents and forefathers: EUR 100,000;
  • Siblings, first-degree descendants of siblings, step-parents, in-laws, children-in-law, divorced spouses, civil partners in an annulled civil partnership: EUR 20,000;
  • all other buyers: EUR 20,000.

Related Links

  • Tax office for transfer taxes and real estate
  • Forms to download Tax Administration Hamburg

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