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Rich people use these tricks to avoid inheritance and gift taxes


Gifts and inheritances can be completely exempt from tax. The trend is towards family foundations.

Gifts and inheritances can be completely exempt from tax.

The trend is towards family foundations.

Berlin – In Germany, the tax on income is much higher than taxes on wealth.

According to a study by the industrialized countries organization OECD, a single person had to pay an average of 48.1 percent of their salary in taxes and social security contributions in 2021.

For comparison: According to official statistics, the average tax rate on inheritances in the same year was just 9.4 percent.

"We have a very high burden on labor income in Germany and at the same time very low taxes on wealth like hardly any other industrialized country," says Julia Jirmann, officer for tax law and tax policy at the network tax justice of the

Frankfurter Rundschau


Rich and very wealthy people can take advantage of a multitude of loopholes in order not to pay taxes to the state.

In turn, this money is missing in the infrastructure, for example in road construction or in citizens' offices.

"Donations and inheritances of company assets are exempt from tax up to 100 percent," says Jirmann.

In the case of a company transfer, the company should not be sold for it.

And the wages paid to employees must remain constant for seven years.

Save on inheritance tax: the rich can count on being “poor”.

People who own more than $26 million in corporate assets could even apply for a tax break.

Condition: You must prove that you are in need.

"An heir or recipient is in need if he cannot pay the tax liability from his own resources," says the tax specialist.

However, the rich can count themselves “poor” in order to completely avoid inheritance or gift tax.

Another loophole in the slippery system.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO at Axel Springer SE, is said to have counted on being so “poor” in 2020.

“Friede Springer donated one billion Springer shares to Döpfner.

Theoretically, Döpfner would have had to pay 50 percent inheritance tax because the two are not related,” says Jirmann.

Basically, it would have cost Döpfner half a billion euros.

But he benefits from a further discount on company assets.

As a result, only 30 percent, i.e. 300 million euros, would have been due.

and would only have had to pay 30 percent, i.e. 300 million euros.


Julia Jirmann is a consultant for tax law and tax policy at the Tax Justice Network.


Donation: Döpfner most likely paid no taxes

“Mathias Döpfner had bought further shares in the Axel Springer Group shortly before the donation for approximately this amount.

When the gift came, he probably had no assets left.

In all likelihood, Döpfner had to pay little or no tax on the donation,” says Jirmann.

And Döpfner himself?

Its spokesman informed


that the donation "will of course be properly taxed according to the regulations of the applicable tax law".

It wasn't about tax avoidance.


Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, has received shares worth one billion euros from the publisher Friede Springer.

Apparently he didn't pay taxes.

(archive photo)

© B.von Jutrczenka/J.Kalaene/dpa/picture alliance

This is just one trick among many.

Private family foundations can also save millions in taxes.

This works with at least one foundation.

“I am founding a new one, which is empty, i.e. without available assets and therefore in need.

I transfer the tax-privileged company assets to this foundation.

The tax can then be waived,” explains Jirmann.

Minors are usually needy

As a rule, the newly established foundation has no assets and is therefore in need.

Otherwise, money can also be transferred to a minor child.

Children of this age are often also destitute.

In the case of a transfer to a charitable foundation, gift and inheritance taxes could also be avoided.

An example of this was the Patagonia case.

"Philanthropy then means that you want to decide for yourself who you do good for," says Jirmann.

(Moritz serif)

List of rubrics: © Hans-Jürgen Wiedl/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa/Archive image

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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