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Inheritance: Inheritance tax exemption for a family home

The transfer of an owner-occupied dwelling (family home) in the event of inheritance to the surviving spouse or to a child is exempt from inheritance tax under certain conditions; among other things, the dwelling must be immediately intended for owner-occupation by the acquirer.

Therefore, in order to obtain the tax exemption, the acquirer must, within a reasonable time after the inheritance, form the intention to use the property for his own purposes and actually implement it.


Immediacy regularly exists in the case of a move-in within six months of the inheritance. After the expiry of this period, in order to qualify for the benefit, the acquirer must provide credible evidence of the date on which he/she decided to use the home as a family home, the reasons why it was not possible to move in earlier, and that he/she is not responsible for the delay.
Delays that are not justifiable may occur, for example, in the event of a settlement of the inheritance between the co-heirs or a clarification of the inheritance. Exceeding the 6-month period due to renovation work on the apartment is only harmless under special conditions, such as a serious defect that is only discovered during the renovation.


The Federal Fiscal Court has once again confirmed its case law in this regard. In the present case, it was more than six months after the entry in the land register that offers were first obtained from craftsmen for a renovation and the six-month period was thus clearly exceeded.