The German tax offices are recording increasingly high estates. The previous year, 50.2 billion euros were inherited in Germany and taken into account for tax purposes. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office. The value is twice as high as ten years earlier, in 2010 it was only 24.7 billion euros.
The value of inherited taxable real estate and the real estate therein has particularly increased. In 2010, houses and land worth a total of 7.4 billion euros were bequeathed, and since then the sum has grown year on year with one exception. Compared to 2010, it has almost tripled to reach 21.4 billion euros. Figures for real estate are gross sums, real estate debts are deducted.
Important: Statisticians cannot say how much German citizens inherited in total. In most cases, relatives stay below the exemptions, so that no tax is usually assessed. These asset transfers are not available to the tax administration and are therefore absent from these official statistics.
The state withholds ten percent of estates and donations established as tax
Spouses can inherit up to 500,000 euros without paying tax and their own children can inherit up to 400,000 euros. The data now released therefore only include larger inheritances, mainly on higher bank balances and securities accounts, land and real estate, as well as business assets and land.
In addition, there are donations, that is, significant transfers of assets over the course of life. Because they are just as important from a tax standpoint as estates. Here, too, the tax authorities are saving a lot of money: 34.2 billion euros were donated in 2020. Business assets have played the most important role here for years. Since a reform of inheritance tax in 2016, which restricted the special rules for the transfer of business funds, donations of business funds have notably decreased. In recent years, more and more assets have also been transferred.
The state had almost exactly every tenth of the euro left over from the previous year’s great inheritances. Of the 84.4 billion euros that were donated and inherited, the tax authorities collected 8.5 billion euros in taxes.