The estate tax is one of the most controversial forms of taxation in Germany. Already three times -1995 2009 and 2014 - told the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) standards of the ErbStG unconstitutional.

The question is always, benefit for inherited enterprises. So also in 2014, as exemptions

were declared operating assets unconstitutional. See Constitutional Court, Urt. by

17.12.2014, Az. 1 BvL 21/12. On 09/22/2016 federal and state governments have a compromise

agreed to reform the ErbStG so that it can withstand a constitutional review.

The bill has already been the Bundestag and Bundesrat adopted (the Federal Council

had to agree, since the advent of the inheritance tax attributable solely to the countries. See Art.

106 II No. 2 GG).

The central points of the new version are:

• Inherited business assets is 85% tax-free if its value is less than 26 Mln

Euro is, the heir to continue operating a long time and the jobs obtained. See §

13a ErbStG nF In overlying operating assets, the exemption will gradually decrease.

From a value of 90 million euros no exemption is granted.

• is excluded from the exemption known. Management assets. See § 13b IV ErbStG nF

These are, for example, works of art, libraries, jewels and shares, provided that they do not

have closely related to the main purpose of the operation. If the administrative capacity in

invested the operation, it may be exempted from the tax again.

• In a financially overburdened the heirs by inheritance this can for

be up to 10 years deferred, § 28 II ErbStG nF In geerbtem business assets

above 26 million euro is individually tested whether the deferral is justified,

§ 28a ErbStG n.F.

• Companies with five or fewer employees do not have to prove that they the

continue operating in order to obtain the tax benefit. See § 13a ErbStG III nF

The aim of the benefits in each case is the company and the associated jobs

to protect. The Constitutional Court had in 2014 complained that companies, regardless of their financial


Value were exempt from tax. This accusation can not be made the new version.

Still remains to be seen whether the big difference in the effective inheritance tax burden

by date from 1 to 15% for operations and 26 to 30% for private assets by the new version

is reduced.