Clearance statement from German tax-office in a German inheritance case
In an inheritance case in Germany clients often wonder why they do not get access to the money deposited on a German bank account – even after they are in possession of an inheritance certificate.
The reason why is that banks, insurances and other institutions taking care of other people´s money by profession are liable for the taxes due to the German state in the concrete case, if the heir lives abroad.
In other words: if the bank pays you the money from the account, it might later on turn out that taxes would have had to be paid. And then the German tax-office could turn to the bank and make them responsible and liable for the tax. As a result the bank will turn to the competent tax-office and ask for what in German is called an „Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung“ (short: „UB“). In English this would probably be called a „clearance statement“.
Without the clearance statement you will not get a penny from the bank.
To achieve the clearance statement from the tax-office, it might take several months, depending on the details of the concrete case. Of course you can try to speed up the process by cooperating with the tax-office and hand in your tax-declaration early – if you have to make any.
If you have an issue in German Inheritance law, you can pick up contact with us here.