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U.S. Estate Tax applicable to non-American citizens/residents


We would like to inform you of the American law on inheritance taxes (hereinafter: “U.S. Estate Tax”), a tax that you and/or your inheritance might be subject to.

The U.S. Estate Tax is levied on the inheritance of American citizens and American residents (hereinafter: “U.S. Persons”). In some cases, however, U.S. Estate Tax is also owed on the inheritance of a non-American citizen/resident (hereinafter: “Non-US Persons”), for example Belgian residents (*1,2)

When are your investments subject to the U.S. Estate Tax?

The taxable part of the inheritance of a Non-US Person consists only of the so-called “U.S. Situs Property”. By this is meant estate assets located in the USA or that are deemed to be located there.
Broadly speaking, the following assets are considered “U.S. Situs Property”:
  • Real estate located in America.
  • Shares issued by an American company.
  • Certain bonds issued by an American government or company.
  • Investment funds established under American law.
The physical location and/or the country where these shares, bonds or investment funds are listed are irrelevant.
The rates applicable to the American inheritance taxes are progressive (26% through 40%).

When are your investments NOT subject to the U.S. Estate Tax?

  1. If the aforementioned investments are made via a non-American company, e.g. a BEVEK/SICAV, a Belgian holding.
  2. If the value of your “U.S. Situs Property” at the moment of death is not greater than USD 60,000.00. In other words, a Non-US Person shall only be required to declare an inheritance and effectively owe U.S. Estate Tax if the value of his or her “U.S. Situs Property” at the moment of death is greater than USD 60,000.00.
As is the case for all other tax obligations, we assume that if your inheritance falls within the scope of this law, your beneficiaries will comply with this regulation (for more info, see: www.irs.gov – Form 706-NA).
Should you have questions, feel free to contact your usual contact at the bank.
This page is for information purposes only and by no means constitutes tax advice on the part of ABN AMRO. We recommend that you consult your tax specialist before taking any decision in this regard.

* 1. Please note: different rules apply to so-called Netherbelgians. In contrast to Belgium, the Netherlands has concluded a treaty with the USA to avoid double taxation in the case of inheritance taxes. Only Netherbelgians who die within 10 years after emigrating and who still have the Dutch nationality at that moment can appeal to this scheme and thus enjoy treaty protection against double taxation. All other Netherbelgians are treated the same as Belgian residents.

* 2. Residents of the Netherlands, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark and Canada enjoy treaty protection and are exempted. Residents of Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Finland, Japan and Australia, based on a treaty with the USA, enjoy a higher exemption than USD 60,000.00.