Heirs’ Responsibility for the Decedent’s Tax Debts in the Republic of Slovenia

  • Jernej Podlipnik Assistant Professor, Faculty of Government and European Studies, Kranj, Slovenia and Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, tax advisor
Keywords: taxation, Personal Income Tax, inheritance, Slovenia, tax debt, equality before the law


In this paper the author discusses the Slovenian tax rules on the responsibility
of heirs for tax debts that their ancestors (decedents) had at death and also tax
debts of the estate. Generally the heirs must fulfil all of them, but two groups of
exceptions exist. The first one consists of exceptions applicable to all types of
tax debts, e.g., liability only up to the amount of inherited property, liability of
each heir in relation to his share of the inherited property, non-liability if the heir
transfers the inheritance to the state or the local community, non-liability when
the amount of tax is 80 EUR or lower. The second group of exceptions apply
only to the personal income tax residents’ liability for that part of the personal
income that is taxed annually (employment income, income from economic activity
that is established on the basis of actual revenue and expenses, income from
basic agricultural and basic forestry activities, income from transfer of property
rights, and other income). Since personal circumstances (e.g. living costs, number
of children, age) are taken into account when calculating the annual tax
base, the legislator believes that part of the personal income tax is a strictly
personal obligation by nature. Hence, it ceases to exist when the tax debtor
dies. The heirs are responsible for such tax debts only if the tax is either declared
by the tax authority or by the deceased when he is still alive. The author of this
paper claims that because the responsibility of the heirs depends on the activity
of the tax authority or on the deceased taxpayer and not only on the moment of
death, the constitutional equality before the law clause is breached.