Tag Archives: International inheritance tax

U.S. International Inheritance Tax Plan for the British, French, Dutch, Germans and Canadians

International inheritance tax plan for the United Kingdom citizen, the French citizen, Dutch citizen, German citizen and Canadian citizen is unique.   Citizens of these countries have numerous tax treaties allowing for unique tax treaty planning. 

The “trick” is to balance the inheritance tax law in the U.K., France, the Netherlands and Germany with both the U.S. estate tax laws and income tax laws. The U.S. laws are different from the laws in other countries. 

Canada does not have an estate tax or an inheritance tax.  Thus, the “trick” is to balance the U.S. income tax laws with the Canadian income tax laws using the income tax treaty.

While some European countries do not recognize trusts, these countries do either because of their local laws or European treaties.   The United States has many types of trusts.  There is almost always a trust type that will reduce the inheritance tax and or the U.S. estate tax.

One of the special rules that the U.S. has for estate planning, is the use of a “private annuity”.

Here is an example.    Ian owns property in the U.S. and the U.K.  He is a U.K. citizen and resident.   Part of his assets are in the U.S. stock market.     Ian decided to create a trust in the state of Nevada.  Nevada trust law allows Ian to direct the trust investment and direct distributions to any person other than himself.

Ian settles the trust with an initial gift of $2,000,000,  He wants to limit his gifts (for both U.K. and U.S. tax reasons).    He decided to places an additional $2,000,000 into the trust with the agreement that the trust will pay him a lifetime annuity.  

Ian is age 75. Based upon an IRS tax table, the trust will pay him $200.000 a year.  

By using the annuity, Ian avoids having a gift in both the United States and the United Kingdom.  The annuity payment can be deposited in a U.S. bank account or a bank account in another country.

International Inheritance Tax Planning Involves Income Tax Planning

There is more than just avoiding tax upon death.  You want your heirs not to pay income tax because you took a shortcut in your international  inheritance tax planning.

Learn more about UK  tax planning on this link,

Learn more about French tax planning on this link.

The United States has a special tax savings law for heirs.  The property inherited gets a new tax cost for income taxes.  The new tax cost is the value of the asset on the date of death of the decedent.   If you would like to strategies your international inheritance tax plan, then please contact me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT at [email protected]