Inheritance tax - Taxable property and principal exemptions
Verified 14 May 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
When you inherit, you have to file an estate declaration with the tax authority. This allows the administration to identify the goods subject to inheritance tax, to check whether you can benefit from certain exemptions and to calculate the tax due. The main exemptions from inheritance tax are linked to the beneficiary of the inheritance, the deceased and the property transferred.
If you inherit, you must to lodge a declaration of succession detailing the inherited assets.
you are exempt from inheritance tax if you are exempt from filing a declaration.
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Tax residence of the deceased in France
If the deceased was domiciled in France, you must pay inheritance tax on all property received (movable property and buildings). It does not matter whether these assets are located in France or abroad (unless otherwise stipulated in international conventions).
specific rules apply to certain property (property whose deceased was usufructuary, life insurance contract, etc.).
Tax residence of the deceased located abroad
Beneficiary domiciled in France
You must pay inheritance tax on all property received if you meet the following 2 conditions:
- Domiciled in France on the day of death
- Domiciled in France for at least 6 years in the last 10 years
It doesn't matter whether the property is located in France or abroad.
Beneficiary domiciled outside France
If you are domiciled abroad on the day of death, only the property of the deceased located in France is taxable.
Spouse and Civil partnership partner
You are exempt from inheritance tax if you are the surviving spouse or partner of surviving Civil partnerships of the deceased.
Brother or sister
You are exempt from inheritance tax if you meet the following 3 conditions at the time of death:
- To have lived with the deceased constantly during the 5 years preceding his death
- Be single, widowed, divorced or divorced
- Be over 50 or have a disability that does not allow you to work
State and public bodies
Property shall be exempt from inheritance tax if it is bequeathed to the following State and public bodies:
- Regions, departments, municipalities, their public establishments and public hospitals
- Public or public utility establishments whose resources are allocated to scientific, cultural or artistic works of a disinterested nature
- State and its public scientific, educational, welfare and charitable institutions
- Public National Park Establishments, for buildings located in the heart of such national parks
Associations recognized as being in the public interest
Property bequeathed to associations or foundations recognized as being in the public interest shall be exempt from inheritance tax.
Their resources should be allocated to the following activities:
- Helpful and charitable organizations
- Protection of the environment
- Protection of animals
You are exempt from inheritance tax if you inherit from:
- Victim of war or terrorist acts
- Member who died on external or internal security operations
- Firefighter, policeman, gendarme, customs officer, summoned to the order of the Nation, in the event of death in the performance of their missions or of injuries received during these missions
You are fully exempt from inheritance tax for the following:
- Reversal of life annuity between spouses or between heirs in a direct line
- Historical monument, subject to conditions (buildings classified or included in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments)
- Works of art, books and collectors' items, documents of high historical or artistic value donated to the State with its approval
You are partially exempt from inheritance tax for the following property, under certain conditions:
- Forestry or agricultural goods
- Individual business business shares, interests and shares
- Dwelling acquired new between 1er June 1993 to 31 December 1994, and between 1er august 1995 and december 31, 1995 (exemption applies only tore transfer of the goods)
- Residential building and garages acquired between 1er august 1995 and december 31, 1996 (exemption applies only tore transmission of the goods).
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- General Tax Code: Article 750bRules of territoriality for inheritance tax
- General Tax Code: Articles 779 to 787 CExemption of individual companies, shares and shares in businesses (Articles 787B and 787C)
- General Tax Code: Articles 792-0a to 797aExemption of forest and agricultural property, certain dwellings, life annuity reversion (Article 793), bequests to associations (Article 795), exemption linked to the status of the deceased (Article 796), persons exempt from filing a declaration of succession (Article 796-0), surviving Civil partnerships’ spouse or partner (Article R796-0a), brother or sister (Article 796-0b)
- General Tax Code: Article 1131Exemption of works of art
- Bofip-taxes No BOI-ENR-DMTG-10 relating to property to be declared in the framework of an estate
- Bofip-taxes n°BOI-ENR-DMTG-10-10-30 relating to the territoriality rules on transfer duties free of charge
- Bofip-taxes No BOI-ENR-DMTG-10-20 on inheritance tax exemptions
- Bofip-Taxes n°BOI-ANNX-000306 relating to the list of tax treaties concluded by France
- Inheritance: order and rights of heirsService-Public.fr
- Inheritance tax - Assessment of inheritance and calculation of dutiesService-Public.fr
- Declare an estateMinistry of Finance
- Tax treaties signed by FranceMinistry of Finance