AUS/CH Inheritance (property/shares) - transfer and taxation

I'm calling out to any fellow Aussies who may have some inheriting propery/shares from Australian family.

My last parent has just passed away, and although I have yet to see the will, I have good information I will inherit a property jointly with one of my siblings as well as some shares. My parent is Australian, and all the property/assets are in Australia. I am the only non-AUS resident beneficiary.

My sibling and I are aligned in selling the property. As it was acquired before 1985 (when CGT would apply) CGT won't apply if the property is sold within 2 years of death. However as probate will probably take 12-15 months, transfer probably won't take place until early 2025. We would look to sell the property before December 2025.


* At what point should I inform my Swiss tax office? I will only know the inherited value once it all assets are transferred

*If receive the property and sell it within the same calendar year, would it be okay to declare only the final proceeds of sale? (this is the most accurate value of the property).

*Are there any risks along the line of double taxation?

The Swiss won't care.


For 2023 the OP should plan to declare the undistributed estate (Unverteilte Erbschaft) as an asset based on the expected 50/50 split. Any dividends from the shares should also be declared from the time of the decedent's death until year-end 2023. The OP might wish to request an extension for 2023 to allow better information to be collected in 2024.

If the estate remains undistributed at year-end 2024, the same procedures would apply for 2024.

Yep. All taxes due will be down-under. When you liquidate everything and transfer it over here, you simply add it to Vermögen (wealth) and state at the end of your tax form where the increase came from.

With the value of the A$ declining against the CHF, I would see no point in keeping shares. If you do they will be taxable as wealth along with any dividends. Again a simple matter on your Swiss tax declaration. As would the property if not sold.

In my experience the Swiss tax authorities were not interested in death certificates etc and were happy with the final transfer being declared...

Thank you for the replies

I don't see the point in declaring any assets until I actually have full or partial ownership or control because:

*I have not be formally informed as being a beneficiary

*Income/debts relating to the assets will belong to the estate until time of transfer

*The will can still be contested up until the point of transfer

*Value may change up until the time of transfer

I would say once things seem fairly certain, I would discuss with my local tax office for advice. The critical issue will be ensuring that I can avoid capital gains tax in Australia...if I get hit with that plus the miserable exchange rate I will lose over half the value. Anyway, lets wait and see.

You can't avoid capital gains tax, if applicable. It will be deducted from the estate before probate - assuming the system is similar to the UK - and has nothing to do with the Swiss system...

This K-Geld discussion might assist the OP:

"Inheritance from abroad: Do I have to pay tax on it here?

“My mother left me around 45,000 euros. Inheritance tax is deducted in her home country of Holland. Do I have to pay inheritance tax again in Zurich?”

No. Inheritances are taxed at the deceased’s place of residence - in your case in the Netherlands. In Switzerland, however, you must declare the inheritance as an asset in your tax return and pay wealth tax on it. If you earn interest income from these assets, this will be subject to income tax."…er-versteuern/

Beobachter explains further:

"Deceased parent
How do we pay tax on the inheritance?

Question: My sister and I each inherit half of our mother’s estate. When and how do we pay tax on the inheritance?

As soon as you are involved in an inheritance, you must list your share of it on your tax return. It doesn’t matter whether the assets have already been distributed or not. You are liable for tax from the date of legal entitlement, i.e. after the date of death."…bschaft-358162

Swiss inheritance tax is due at the place of last residence of the testator/deceased. In case of real estate at place of the real estate. If there is no Swiss real estate and the person lived abroad, then there is no Swiss inheritance tax.

I inherited money and shares and a property 18 months ago. Our tax advisors told us it was from the date of vesting but the tax office asked for the deed of grant and proof of transfer date to my name from the solicitors and taxed it as part of my wealth from then on. Clearly they had (luckily) not read Beobachter magazine !!!

My wife has shared ownership of property in Italy, we never declare a value as we don't know it as it needs to be valued and costs figured in. This since 2011!

We do declare that there is some common property, just with no value.


So there's no tax value on a property in Italy? Such as the Valore Catastale?

In Italy, yes, in Switzerland, no.


The transfer of the property from the estate to my sibling and I would be CGT exempt as it was purchased prior to September 1985. (Australian Tax law). However, if I do not sell my 50% stake within 2 years of date of death, the proceeds of the sale would then attract CGT. So the clock is ticking...just hoping the pacific peso doesn't tank any further.

Well I guess as the 2023 tax return is not formally due until 31st March 2024, request an extension until either 30.6 or 30.9, by which time I will have more solid details of my inheritance entitlement. I can then add this to the tax return just before submission. Discussions with the local tax office can be done between now an then.