Heirs can state the costs of burial and grave care in their inheritance tax return – or claim a lump sum. But what is there to consider?
In the inheritance tax return, an heir can specify a so-called lump sum for inheritance costs of EUR 10,300. This also applies if he did not bear the costs for the funeral, but for other costs related to the inheritance.
In addition to costs for an appropriate grave monument and for normal grave maintenance, costs are also deductible that the heir incurs in connection with the handling of the estate. The tax office recognizes a total of 10,300 euros – i.e. without proof. “This also applies if the actual costs are lower,” explains Isabel Klocke from the taxpayers’ association and refers to a decision by the Münster Finance Court (file number: 3 K 3549/17).
In the negotiated case, the niece of a deceased aunt claimed the lump sum for inheritance costs in her inheritance tax return. However, the heiress only submitted an invoice for 40 euros to the tax office.
The district court had issued this invoice for the issue of the inheritance certificate and the opening of the will. The tax office did not take into account the lump sum for inheritance costs, but only the proven 40 euros – and the woman complained.
Decision from the Federal Fiscal Court is still pending
The judges decided in favor of the woman that the flat rate includes all costs related to the settlement and regulation of the inheritance. The heir only has to prove that he has incurred such costs. However, the tax office has appealed the judgment to the Federal Fiscal Court (file number: II R 3/20).
If the tax office calculates an inheritance tax without taking the flat rate into account, those affected can file an objection. The Federation of Taxpayers advises them to rely on the ongoing proceedings. Your tax case remains open until the decision of the Federal Fiscal Court.
If the expenditure is over 10,300 euros, this can be stated in a tax-reducing manner. “Then a separate statement of the expenditure is necessary,” explains Klocke. Corresponding documents should therefore be kept.