Inheritance tax returns of banks and asset managers


Banks must report account balances to the tax office!


A sometimes very useful source of information for the tax office are banks and savings banks where the testator had bank accounts.

As asset managers according to § 33 ErbStG, banks are usually obliged to report to the tax office all account balances, deposits, securities and claims of the testator as well as other assets that they hold for the testator, at the latest one month after the death of the deceased.

The heir who, after the death of the deceased, presents himself to the testator's bank and requests there the closing of the account and the payment of the credit balance, must therefore be aware that he is conducting these banking transactions as it were with a branch of the tax office. The bank will pay him the money he is entitled to as heir, but will probably send a message to the tax office about this procedure on the same day.

In this context, one should also not rely on the fact that the credit institution waives its duty of disclosure for once, since failure to report would constitute a violation of tax regulations according to § 33 para. 4 ErbStG and lead to a fine for the bank.

The tax office is not interested in minor cases. For amounts under 5,000 euros, the banks are not obliged to report, § 1 para. 4 ErbStDV (German Inheritance Tax Implementing Regulation).

The heir himself is not necessarily aware of the notification to the tax office. The bank is not legally obliged to send the heir a copy of the notification. The banks often send copies of the notification, especially when requested to do so. The banks' inheritance tax notifications are helpful in drawing up a list of assets at the time of death, especially in connection with the determination of claims to a compulsory portion.




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