Universiteit Leiden

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PhD defence

Taxation of Cross-border Inheritances and Donations

  • V. Dafnomilis
Thursday 3 June 2021
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof. F. Sonneveldt
  • Prof. S. Douma (UvA)


The rationale behind this study is to describe certain problems of death and gift taxes in a cross-border setting and to provide solutions to these problems under the current international and EU law mechanisms. These problems are double or multiple taxation, double or multiple non-taxation, discrimination and administrative difficulties. The selection of these problems is justified by the two main points of reference selected in the study, the 1982 OECD Model Tax Convention for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on inheritance, estates and gifts (the OECD IHTMTC), and the inheritance tax report of the European Commission's expert group, ‘Ways to tackle inheritance cross-border tax obstacles facing individuals within the EU’ from 2015.

In his doctoral thesis, mr. Dafnomilis argues that certain provisions of the 1982 OECD IHTMTC and its commentary can be improved and he suggests improvements to the model. In addition, he evaluates the current EU law mechanisms available for addressing of the selected problems, such as the 2011 European Commission Recommendation regarding relief for double taxation of inheritances. In addition, he suggests solutions to addressing certain aspects of the selected problems of cross-border inheritances and donations at the EU level, such as a Multilateral Convention in the form of an EU Directive and the extension of the scope of the EU Directive on Tax Dispute Resolution. Finally, mr. Dafnomilis explores in his doctoral thesis a holistic solution to the selected problems by continuing the work of the European Commission's expert group that suggested the innovative concept ‘one inheritance – one inheritance tax’.

The study serves as up-to-date material for every tax practitioner who wants to understand certain problems of death and gift taxation, how the international and EU law mechanisms in this area of law work in practice, how the CJ’s case law on EU inheritance and gift taxation has resulted in the so-called ‘negative integration’ of death and gift taxes in the EU and whether the ‘one inheritance – one inheritance tax’ concept can provide a holistic solution to the problems of death and gift taxation in the EU.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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+31 71 527 3282

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