Accounts of foreign inheritance are not always required

When someone dies and leaves you money, assets or property, your reporting obligations vary depending on the decedent's and your country of residence, and on the provisions of bilateral tax treaties.

Decedent and heir both living overseas

There is no requirement to report inheritances when they are not subject to Finnish inheritance tax. No reporting is necessary if both the decedent (the donor i.e. deceased person from whom you are inheriting) was a permanent resident of a foreign country, and you who are the heir are also a permanent resident of a foreign country at the date of the decedent's death. It is also required that the property includes none of the following assets:

  • Real estate or immovable property in Finland;
  • Corporate stock or comparable shares of entities that hold real property located in Finland, the value of which equals more than 50% of the net worth of the corporate entity.

Similarly, if you are a beneficiary of a last will and testament you do not have to report it if the text of the will lists the assets going to you and includes none of the above assets.

Decedent lived overseas and the heir lives in Finland

If the heir lives in Finland, they must file an inheritance tax return and pay the tax on the foreign inheritance. 

Sometimes an exception is made to this general rule because of the provisions of a bilateral tax treaty. In cases where all assets of the estate are exempt from taxation by the provisions of a treaty, an heir or a beneficiary of a will does not need to file an inheritance tax return.

Decedent lived in Denmark or Iceland

If you are a resident of Finland you do not have to report an inheritance if the decedent was a permanent resident of Denmark or Iceland, and the property includes none of the following:

  • Real estate or immovable property in Finland;
  • Corporate stock or comparable shares of entities that hold real property located in Finland, the value of which equals more than 50% of the net worth of the corporate entity.

Similarly, if you are a beneficiary of a will you do not have to report it if the text of the will lists the assets going to you and includes none of the above assets.

(In Finnish and Swedish)

Decedent lived in the Netherlands

If you are a resident of Finland you do not have to report an inheritance if the decedent was a permanent resident of the Netherlands and the property includes none of the following:

  • Real estate or immovable property in Finland, including chattels;
  • A lending contract or another type of receivable, for which a mortgage guarantee has been given in the form of real estate or immovable property in Finland;
  • Business assets or professional assets relating to a permanent establishment located in Finland.

Similarly, if you are a beneficiary of a will you do not have to report it if the text of the will lists the assets going to you and includes none of the above assets.

Decedent lived in France

If you are a resident of Finland you do not have to report an inheritance if the decedent was a permanent resident of France and the property includes none of the following:

  • Real estate or immovable property in Finland, including chattels;
  • Movable property and chattels located in Finland that serve an agricultural or forestry farm operation, including any animals that belong to such a farm.
  • Privileges and rights governed by Finnish civil law on immovable property that relate to property located in Finland;
  • Privileges and rights of usufruct to immovable property located in Finland;
  • Assets of a self-employed business operation that belong to a permanent establishment located in Finland;
  • Assets that have related to the exercise of a profession from a fixed base located in Finland.
  • Other tangible moveable property in Finland including furniture, household chattel and linen, and also including any works of art and collections of works of art.

Similarly, if you are a beneficiary of a will you do not have to report it if the text of the will lists the assets going to you and includes none of the above assets.

Decedent lived in Switzerland

If you are a resident of Finland you do not have to report an inheritance if the decedent was a permanent resident of Switzerland and the property includes none of the following:

  • Real estate or immovable property in Finland, including chattels;
  • Movable property and chattels located in Finland that serve an agricultural or forestry farm operation, including any animals that belong to such a farm.
  • Privileges and rights governed by Finnish civil law on immovable property that relate to property located in Finland;
  • Privileges and rights of usufruct to immovable property located in Finland;
  • Rights to receive royalties of constant or variable amounts as compensation for the use of minerals from a deposit, for the use of reservoirs or sources, or for the use of other repositories in Finland.

Similarly, if you are a beneficiary of a will you do not have to report it if the text of the will lists the assets going to you and includes none of the above assets.