FRANCO-SWISS SUCCESSIONS FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF INHERITANCE TAXES
The Convention concluded between the Swiss Confederation and the French Republic for the avoidance of double taxation in the field of inheritance taxes was terminated with effect from 31 December 2014. No tax treaty is therefore applicable.
The first step is to examine the domestic tax law of the States concerned in order to determine their tax jurisdiction. To establish their tax jurisdiction, the States have tax liability factors, such as:
- the deceased’s last home address,
- the domicile of the heir/legatee,
- the place where the succession is opened,
- the nationality of the deceased, or
- the location of the estate assets.
Subsequently, if the first stage reveals one or more conflicts of jurisdiction, it will be necessary to examine the rules for reducing or eliminating double taxation.
Example: France and the Canton of Vaud
Cases of double taxation may arise due to the application, by France and the canton of Vaud, of separate tax factors:
- the deceased’s last domicile is in the canton, but one of the heirs has his domicile in France within the meaning of Article 750 ter paragraph 3 CGI;
- the succession includes real estate in Switzerland, but the deceased’s last domicile was in France;
- the succession includes movable property in France, but the deceased’s last domicile was in Switzerland, as was the case for real estate;
- the succession includes shares in French SCIs and the deceased had his last domicile in Switzerland;
- the deceased receives a French pension but his residence is in Switzerland.