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What are the notification requirements for inheritance and gift tax?

Any acquisition subject to inheritance and gift tax must be reported by the acquiring person (in the case of gifts also by the donor) to the tax office responsible for inheritance and gift tax within three months of gaining knowledge of the asset acquisition.

Notification is not required if the acquisition is based on a testamentary disposition (will or contract of inheritance) issued by a German court, a German notary's office or a German consulate, and the relationship of the acquiring person to the testator is clear from the testamentary disposition. This does not apply if the acquisition includes real property, business assets, shares in corporations that are not subject to the disclosure requirement under Section 33 of the Inheritance Tax Act, or foreign assets. Furthermore, the notification may be omitted in the case of a gift if this gift has been certified by a court or a notary public.

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

Anyone who is required to notify an acquisition can fulfill this obligation by sending an informal letter to the tax office responsible for inheritance and gift tax. The notification should contain the following information:

  • First name, last name, occupation and address of the decedent or the person making the gift and of the persons acquiring the property
  • Date and place of death of the deceased or the date of execution of the gift,
  • Subject and value of the acquisition,
  • Legal basis of the acquisition (e.g. legal succession, bequest, endowment),
  • personal relationship of the acquiring person to the testator or to the person making the gift (e.g. kinship, affinity, employment relationship),
  • previous gifts made by the testator or the person making the gift to the acquiring person according to the type, value and time of the individual gift.

You can also request a form for notification of acquisition or a declaration form from the tax office responsible for inheritance tax or gift tax (see Find your tax office) or download the form from the website Portal der Finanzämter under Service Forms

There are no special fees or other costs for the assessment of inheritance and gift tax.

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