Exit tax consequences due to changes of double tax treaties

Most of the recently enacted German double tax treaties include a clause for real estate-rich companies in the article on capital gains. Under this clause, capital gains from the alienation of shares deriving more than 50 percent of their value from real estate can be taxed in the state in which the real estate is located and are thus treated as if the real estate is sold directly. Including such a clause in a double tax treaty would mean that if the amended double tax treaty becomes effective, Germany will now have to share its - previous sole - taxing right of the capital gains on the sale of shares with the state in which the real estate is located. A potential double taxation will regularly be avoided by applying the credit method. On 26 October 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Finance issued a decree confirming that the exit tax may be triggered by such a change in the taxing rights according to an amendment of the respective double tax treaty even though the tax payer itself does not undertake any exit tax-triggering transaction. Our beinformed provides our view on the exit tax situation.

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