There is no requirement to pay gift tax on transfers of usual household goods and furniture valued at max. €5,000. Similarly, gifts given for educational purposes, for purposes of childrearing, and for living expenses are exempt, regardless of value, unless the recipient can make use of the gift for some other purpose.
As of January 2017, a new schedule for gift tax has been in force, setting out an obligation to pay gift tax on a received asset valued at least €5,000. If household goods and furniture are given as a gift and their value is less than €5,000, no tax is imposed due to the entry into force of the new schedule on 1 January 2017. In case the value exceeds €4,000, it is included in calculations of the aggregate value of gifts received from the same donor in the course of three years. If the value stays below €4,000, you may receive household goods as gifts more than once in the course of three years. This means that the three-year rule is not applied on such goods i.e. there is no adding up of the values of the gifts received within that period.
Usual household goods
For gift tax purposes, 'usual household goods and furniture' refers to furniture, rugs, clothes, appliances and kitchen utensils in the household, but it does not refer to works of art such as paintings on the walls or sculptures because they do not fall into the category of usual household items. The decisions on whether a work of art is exceptionally valuable are made on a case-by-case basis.
Gifts given for educational purposes and in order to cover the recipient's living expenses
There is no requirement to pay gift tax when the gift is intended to cover educational expenses, expenses connected to a child's upbringing, or living expenses. It is important that the recipient has no opportunity to make use of the received gift for purposes that are not educational, connected to living expenses, or connected to a child's upbringing. Examples of such tax-exempt gifts include the case where parents pay for their child's academic studies in a foreign country. However, if the gift is transferred to the child in the form of cash, it is treated as a taxable gift because they could make use of the cash for other purposes than studies and related students' expenses. Consequently, a direct transfer of funds to the bank account of a university is not subject to gift tax.