German Tax Law

German ProbateGerman Tax Law

Deed of Variation and International Succession

Careful when using a Deed of Variation to mitigate UK Inheritance Tax! The Deed may backfire if there are foreign assets or beneficiaries who live outside the UK If someone dies intestate and leaves both a surviving spouse and a child (or children), then UK inheritance tax is due if the value of the estate exceeds GBP 900,000. In these cases, it is tempting to make use of a Deed of Variation in order to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 9, 2016
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Everything about German Inheritance & Gift Tax at one Glance

German residents are subject to German inheritance tax. Always! Many of our blogposts deal with German probate and the tax implications of international inheritance cases (see list below). English solicitors and their clients are often stunned by the fact that German assets which are part of an English estate can trigger significant German inheritance and/or gift tax, in addition to UK IHT. Vice versa, if a beneficiary happens to be resident in Germany (even if…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 14, 2016
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Efficient Transfer of Foreign Assets

Seminar for British Solicitors and UK Accountants who advise Clients with Assets Abroad. Main focus is on Germany, but speakers will also briefly touch upon Austria and Switzerland. If you advise clients who own property or other investments abroad, they are not always aware of the fact that this will trigger foreign inheritance taxes and that the executor(s) or beneficiaries will have to go through local probate procedure, which can takes many months and cost…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 15, 2016
Business Tax & Fiscal ObligationsGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

International Probate: Assets in Germany will be found (and taxed) by German Tax Office

Nowhere to hide from the German Finanzamt If the deceased held funds or owned property in Germany, the German Tax Office (Finanzamt) will find out about it and will - most likely - levy German inheritance tax, even if the deceased was not a German national and even if the deceased was not resident in Germany. We have explained the workings of the German Inheritance and Gift Tax Code (Erbschafts- und Schenkungssteuergesetz) here. Executors are…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 6, 2016
Civil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawGerman Tort LawLitigation in Germany

Expert Reports on German Law

As a full service German and English law firm, established in 2003, and the editors of the expert blog on German civil procedure rules we are often asked to provide English Law Firms with an expert report based on issues of German Law. Bernhard Schmeilzl, a bilingual Lawyer who qualified in 2001 (admitted to the Munich Bar) and is able to provide expert reports to be used in English litigation and arbitration cases based on…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 2, 2016
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Careful with Deed of Variation if Estate comprises Foreign Assets

Using a Deed of Variation in the UK may cause additional Taxes Abroad Let's take an easy example: An English testator owns property or a significant investment in Germany, which already triggers German inheritance tax, even if neither the legator nor the beneficiaries are resident in Germany. He has two children and gives the German house (or flat) to child 1, the German investment to child 2. For whatever reasons, the children prefer a different…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 1, 2016
German Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

The Perils of German Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax

German Inheritance Tax applies when British Legators (and their Lawyers) least expect it UK and US lawyers are used to an inheritance tax regime where (only) the estate as such is being taxed. Within that system, it does not matter too much who the beneficiary is and where he or she is domiciled. The German Inheritance Tax concept works entirely differently (basics explained here). Instead of taxing the estate, it taxes each individual beneficiary. However,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 22, 2016
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

Don’t be afraid of Clients with Foreign Assets!

Crash Course for UK Inheritance Lawyers: Will Preparation for International Families and Expats. Obtaining Foreign Probate Solicitors working in the field Wills & Probate, sooner rather than later, are faced with clients who own foreign assets, are married to non-British spouses or are sent abroad as expats by their employers. These international clients, in most circumstances, will rely on their Will to also cover their non-UK assets and to function in foreign jurisdictions, i.e. the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 20, 2015
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax Law

International Wills and Estate Planning for British-German Families

... and the big misunderstanding regarding the "choice of inheritance (tax) law" Drafting a Will is no easy matter. It gets even more complicated if you are a mixed-nationality family, if you have assets in more than one country or if you have more than one residence. This posting explains the basic rules of estate planning for British-German spouses or families. With international inheritance cases and estate planning one must always strictly distinguish between two…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 24, 2015
Business in GermanyBusiness Tax & Fiscal ObligationsGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman Tax LawStarting BusinessStarting or Expanding Business

When starting a Business in Germany: Don’t Forget the Trade Register Notification (Gewerbeanmeldung)

Your new German company is finally registered? Gratulations! But you are far from being done. Under German law (see section 14 Gewerbeordnung, i.e. German Trade Regulation), the commencement of a business activity must be notified in writing (Gewerbeanmeldung) to the local Ordnungsamt (Trades Office), which is a department of the municipal government, for example the city of Munich. This notification obligation also applies to any change in the business (e.g. move, modification to the nature…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
October 31, 2014