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Inheritance tax: what does an inheritance cost?

When you inherit, you have to pay tax on the inheritance, called the 'inheritance tax' (former 'inheritance tax'). Inheritance tax is calculated on the value of the inheritance and varies from region to region.

What is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax, also known as inheritance tax, is tax you have to pay when you inherit after someone dies. Imagine you inherit a house, money, or other assets from a family member. The government can levy a tax on this, and it is called inheritance tax.

When do I have to pay inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax has to be paid when someone dies and assets are transferred to the heirs. Here are some situations where inheritance tax may apply:

  1. Death of a relative: When a relative dies and you inherit property, such as money, property or other assets, inheritance tax may have to be paid.
  2. Gifts before death: In some cases, gifts made before the donor's death may also be subject to inheritance tax if the donor dies within a certain period after the gift.
  3. Life insurance policies: If the beneficiary of a life insurance policy is a family member and the insured dies, inheritance taxes may apply to the payment.
  4. Inheritance from non-family members: If you inherit from a person without a family relationship, such as a friend, inheritance tax may also apply.

How are inheritance taxes calculated?

Whether Flemish, Walloon or Brussels inheritance tax applies depends on where the deceased had his last tax residence as a resident. The tax residence is the municipality where the deceased declared his taxes. If this municipality is in Flanders, Flemish inheritance taxes have to be paid.

How much inheritance tax you have to pay depends on how much you inherit and your relationship to the deceased. Often direct relatives, such as children and spouses, pay less tax than more distant relatives or people who are not directly related.

Do I need a lawyer?

A lawyer has the legal knowledge and experience to inform you as an heir about inheritance taxes, where you have to pay them (in Brussels, Wallonia or Flanders), and how to arrange them.

Want to avoid having to pay a lot of inheritance tax later on when your heirs die? Then a lawyer can also always help you with estate planning. This then makes concrete recommendations on how to optimise your (financial) situation for your heirs.

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