GERMAN INHERITANCE TAX UPHELD
by Dr. Peter K.-D. Barandt, Attorney at Law (New York)
Attorney (Rechtsanwalt) (Frankfurt)
Bar-Approved Specialist in Tax Law (Frankfurt)
M.B.A. (U. of Cologne), LL.M. (SMU, Dallas, Texas)
In its recent opinion of December 17, 2014, docket number: 1 BvL 21/12, the German Federal Constitutional Court (“Bundesverfassungsgericht”) has upheld the constitutionality of the German Federal Inheritance (Estate) Tax (“Erbschaftsteuer”) per se and in its entirety for an interim period through June 30, 2016 thus granting the German legislator a window of opportunity to amend the current version of the German Federal Inheritance (Estate) and Gift Tax Code (“Erbschaft- und Schenkungsteuergesetz”) in order to do away with some present specific unconstitutional privileges of the currently favored taxation of inherited business assets over the taxation of all other inherited assets.
It can be expected that the German legislator will fix these specific unconstitutional disparities reprimanded by the highest German court in a minor German inheritance and estate tax reform June 30, 2016 and thus with a few amendments will maintain and preserve the German Federal Inheritance (Estate) Tax beyond that date.