Bloomberg News

EU Seeks Double-Taxation Relief for Cross-Border Estate Taxes

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union urged its members to provide more relief from double taxation in estate-tax cases that stretch across national borders.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, also called on governments to review their inheritance-tax procedures so they do not discriminate against residents who live elsewhere in the region. Today’s proposals do not include new legislation or a call for countries to harmonize those procedures, the commission said.

Cross-border estate-tax issues affect individual finances much more than national budgets, the EU said. It estimated that proceeds from cross-border inheritance taxes make up less than 0.5 percent of tax revenues in member nations.

“The burden of cross-border inheritance tax can be crippling for citizens, due to discrimination and double taxation,” EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said in a statement released in Brussels. “Small changes in member states’ rules to make them more coherent with each other could deliver real benefits for hundreds of thousands of people across Europe.”

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, Leon Mangasarian

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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