Inheritance taxes: new notification procedure for fiscal debts by death

As from 1 July 2012 notaries public and receivers of the inheritance taxes should make a notification to the tax authorities when drafting an inheritance act or certificate. Subsequently the tax authorities will send you a notice indicating whether there are open tax debts in the hands of the deceased. Only after paying the open tax debts, you will receive the inherited money.

Inheritance act or inheritance certificate

Since it is not clear who are the successors after dying, the bank account of the deceased is blocked. You can unblock the bank account by showing an inheritance act made by a notary public or an inheritance certificate supplied by the receiver of a registration office. The inheritance act is used when there is a will, a marriage settlement or incapable successors. In the other cases you have the choice between an inheritance act or certificate.

Changes as from 1 July 2012

A notary public or a receiver of inheritance taxes who must draft an inheritance act or inheritance certificate should now also electronically notify the tax and social security authorities. If not he will be personally liable for the payment of the inheritance taxes. If it concerns debts on the account of the deceased, the liability of the notary public or the receiver is limited to the value of the inheritance. In case debts of the successors are concerned, the liability is limited to the value of the receivables of the successors named in the inheritance act or certificate.

Notice or response of the tax authorities

The authorities have a period of 12 days to send a notice of the existence of debts in the hands of the deceased or a successor, bequest, beneficiary, .. For each of these persons the amount of taxes is indicated. It should concern certain debts for which seizure or legal mortgage by the State is possible.

Unblocking the receivables

If someone wants to unblock the receivables of the deceased (according to article 1240bis of the Civil Code), this is only possible in a liberation manner if it clearly shows from the inheritance act or certificate that the tax authorities did not notice open tax debts or when these debts were paid afterwards. If funds are unblocked notwithstanding the existence of open debts, the person unblocking the funds can be held liable.

Can you arrange for payment of certain normal debts before the receivables on a bank account are fully unblocked? Yes, upon demand of the notary public or the successors the bank can pay a number of 'normal' debts:

the privileged debts meant in article 19, par. 1, 2° and 3° of the Mortgage Law (funeral expenditure in relation to the state and condition of the deceased and the costs of the last illness for a period of one year), notwithstanding the privileges based on other legal provisions;

the following costs with respect to the last dwelling of the deceased: invoices for water, electricity, fuel oil, gas, fire insurance, rent or payment for a mortgage (according to the repayment plan of the deceased) with a maturity date within the following period: the last three months before and six months after the moment of decease.

=> The fiscal notification obligation as from 1 July 2012 will have consequences on the period of supplying the inheritance act or inheritance certificate. The notary public or the receiver should after all wait 12 working days for the response (notice) of the tax authorities indicating the existence of fiscal debts in the hands of the deceased or the successors.