Payment of inheritance tax

Verified 01 February 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You have an inheritance and wonder when and how to pay inheritance tax? The tax is payable at the time of the declaration of succession. But you can request payment periods under conditions. We'll tell you what you need to know.

You must pay inheritance tax if you are heir or legatee of the deceased, unless you are exempt.

The heirs shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of the duties. This means that tax authorities can claim all the rights owed by all the heirs to a single heir. In this case, the heir who pays the fee can subsequently turn against the other heirs.

However, it does not concern you if you are exempt from inheritance tax.

If you are legateeHowever, tax authorities may only charge you the duty due on your share of the estate.

You must pay the inheritance tax at the time of filing the declaration of succession.

You can ask for a delay in certain situations.

You can request payment terms.

The following 2 systems exist:

  • Split payment
  • Deferred payment

To take advantage of this, you will need to complete the 2 obligations following:

  • Offer guarantees
  • Pay interest

Split payment

Duties can be paid in installments in several payments of the same amount.

Those payments are made over a period of up to one year after the expiry of the time limit for making the declaration of succession. The number of payments shall be limited to 3.

The maximum period shall be increased to 3 years if the succession comprises at least 50% of non-liquid goodss (e.g. buildings, works of art, unlisted securities). The number of payments shall be limited to 7.

Please note

In the case of a company transmission, you can, under certain conditions, request to split the payment of the duties for 10 years (after the 5 years of deferred payment).

Deferred payment

In some situations, you can defer the payment of inheritance tax.

This is possible in particular in the subsequent cases :

  • The estate comprises property in bare-ownership
  • The surviving spouse opted for the right to life and habit
  • The succession shall give rise topreferential allocation of an agricultural holding

Deferred payment applies only the inheritance tax payable in respect of the goods concerned.

Please note

In the case of a transmission of company, you can, under certain conditions, defer payment of duties for 5 years.

The deferral of taxation shall cease in particular in the following cases:

  • 6 months after the meeting of theusufruct to bare ownership (e.g. in the event of the death ofusufructuary)
  • In case of sale of the naked property or the property

Demand and guarantees

If you want to receive a deferred or split payment, you must to submit an application with the tax services.


The express agreement of all heirs is required to benefit from a deferred or split payment. In fact, the heirs remain solidarity the payment of duties.

You have to make the request by attached letter to your declaration of succession.

In practice, the procedures are carried out with the assistance of the notary in charge of the succession.

The tax services must reply to you within 2 months (from the receipt of your request).

If you agree, you will present your guarantees within 4 months.

The warranty may be a mortgage on real estate, for example.

To benefit from a deferred or split payment, you will also need to to pay interest.

The rate shall be indicated in the authorization for split or deferred payment.

Inheritance tax can be paid by:

  • Cash (up to €300)
  • Check
  • Credit card
  • Transfer
  • Treasury securities under certain conditions

Payment may also be made by way of a donation to the State.

The following penalties shall be applied:

  • Interest on late payment (0.20% per month, or 2.4% per year)
  • Surcharge (from 10% to 80%, depending on the situation)


If you receive a split payment of inheritance tax, any delay will result in you losing the benefit. The tax authorities will be able to require payment of the full amount outstanding.

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