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Do you pay taxes on foreign inheritances?

It's very important to know how inheritance taxes work, but you should know that these generally just apply to U.S. citizens and others who live in the United States. If the person who is passing on the assets is not a U.S. citizen and is not living in the country, taxes typically do not apply.

For example, perhaps you moved here from Dubai ten years ago, but your father still lives there. You have become a U.S. citizen, and he's going to leave you money when he passes away. You don't have to worry about paying taxes on that money to the federal government. If you go to Dubai and bring the money back with you, you also don't have to pay taxes on it.

However, you do have to pay taxes in many situations if the money comes from someone who lives in the United States, even if he or she is a foreign national. For example, if your father decides to move to the U.S. and live with you for the last few years of his life, and then he leaves you the money, you could have to pay taxes on it, even if he never becomes a citizen.

If money is given before death, it may be taxed under the gift tax laws, though this only happens when the asset is already in the United States, even if the person who owns it is not--for example, if your father owned real estate in the U.S., despite living in Dubai, and then passed it on to you as a gift.

Additionally, U.S. citizens living abroad may still face U.S. taxes in many situations.

Tax laws can get rather complicated, so be sure you know what you're obligated to pay in New York.

Source: FIndLaw, "How U.S. Tax Rules Apply to Inheritances and Gifts from Abroad," accessed May 05, 2016

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