Germans inherit more money than previously estimated: study

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-05 23:37:28|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

BERLIN, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A scientific report by the German Institute for Economic Research published Wednesday claims that significantly larger amounts of German wealth will be inherited or passed on as gifts in the coming years than previously thought.

The report draws on findings from a joint study with the Institute of Economic and Social Sciences which puts the annual volume of such wealth transfers at 400 billion euros (453.15 billion U.S. dollars) between 2012 and 2027, a figure which is more than 25 percent larger than earlier findings.

The study's authors considered contemporary wealth, as well as the impact of capital gains and regular savings. As a consequence, the projected volume of inheritances far outstrips the stock of wealth that will be passed on as it currently stands.

Nevertheless, the authors do not expect German fiscal authorities to experience a windfall from increased revenue obtained through inheritance and gift taxes.

Most inheritances are below the existing minimum thresholds established by the state and can thus be transferred tax free. Additionally, even very large assets can be passed on without incurring taxes, as long as they are considered to be "corporate wealth" which is tied to firms rather than private individuals.

According to researchers, the exact volume of inherited and gifted wealth in Germany is unknown as the Federal Office for Statistics only accounts for taxable transfers. Such recorded instances amounted to 108.8 billion euros in 2014.