A Guide to European Countries With no Wealth Tax

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For expats looking to move their wealth to Europe, understanding the legislation for wealth taxes in Europe is vital. While all European countries have their own tax regulations, some may be more attractive for financial planning than others. In this article, we’ll look at countries in Europe that charge a wealth tax, as well as the top European countries with no wealth tax.

The Truth About Wealth Taxes in Europe

There are many myths about wealth tax in Europe, so let’s set the record straight. Although collaboration across many legal policies exists, Europe does not have a uniform wealth tax system, and there is no continent-wide wealth tax. Individual countries tax authorities make their own decisions about whether or not to implement a wealth tax, and they set their own rates.

European wealth taxes vary considerably from country to country. Some countries impose very high rates (up to 4.5 percent), while others have none at all. The vast majority of European countries that impose a wealth taxation fall somewhere in between rates of 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.

The Wealth Tax Definition Explained

A wealth tax is a tax imposed as a percentage of everything an individual owns (assets), less any liabilities. Liabilities include any debts or financial obligations, such as a mortgage or personal loan. 

There are two specific types of wealth tax:

Net wealth tax

A tax levied on a person’s global net worth.

Wealth taxes on selected assets

A tax levied on selected assets of what a person owns.

Countries with Net Wealth Taxes

Norway

Norway has an annual net wealth tax of 0.95 percent on net wealth above 1.7 million kr ($169,000) up to 2 million kr ($199,000), and 1.1 percent on net wealth above 2 million kr ($199,000). Norway’s wealth tax is only applicable above the tax threshold of 1.7 million kr ($169,000), meaning if your global net wealth is 2 million kr ($199,000), a wealth tax will be chargeable on 300,000kr ($30,000) of your net wealth.

Spain

Spanish wealth tax has three tiers: 1.7 percent between €3 and €5 million ($3.2 and $5.41 million), 2.1 percent between €3 and €5 million ($5.41 and $10.83 million), and 3.5 above €10 million ($10.83 million). Like Norway, you only pay tax on financial assets above the tax threshold of €3 million ($3.2 million). Wealth tax is also charged by tier, not a flat rate, so if your worldwide assets amount to €11 million ($11.91 million), the 3.5 percent wealth tax will only apply to the amount exceeding €10 million ($10.83 million).

Switzerland

Switzerland’s wealth tax is determined at the cantonal level, and each canton has its own legislation. The wealth tax typically ranges from 0.3 to 0.5 percent, and the thresholds generally start at CHF 77,000 to CHF 308,000 ($75,500 and $332,000), with the highest being at or above 3.16 million CHF ($3.4 million).

Countries with Wealth Taxes on Selected Assets

France

Are you wondering if France still has a wealth tax? The answer is yes. Individual net wealth taxes were repealed in 2018, and replaced by a real estate wealth tax. This tax is levied on the net value of worldwide real estate assets, valued at or above €1.3 million ($1.4 million), and you are legally obligated to declare your real estate assets as a French resident.

Belgium

A previous wealth tax on securities accounts in Belgium was replaced by the “Solidarity Tax” in October 2019. This applies a flat rate wealth tax of 0.15% on securities accounts that reach or exceed €1 million ($1.08 million).

Countries with No Wealth Tax

Unlike many countries around the world, there are a handful of European countries that don’t impose a net, nor selected assets wealth tax. 

Portugal

Portugal’s NHR tax regime (non-habitual resident tax regime) allows for wealth tax in Portugal for foreign nationals to be avoided entirely. You also benefit from a low tax rate for capital gains tax and corporate tax.

Take a look at the Complete Guide to the Portugal NHR Tax Regime

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Monaco

Not only is there no wealth tax in Monaco, but there are also zero income tax, gift taxes, inheritance tax, or capital gains taxes, making it an attractive tax haven for the ultra-wealthy. 

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is another low tax country with no wealth tax, low income taxes, while also having tax exemptions, and a VAT (Value Added Tax) rate of just 7.7 percent.

Greece

Greece does not levy taxes on wealth, and the Greece Golden Visa provides several financial and tax benefits for expats who wish to invest in property in Greece.

Things to Consider

Check for other taxes

If you choose to move your wealth, make sure to check what other taxes are charged. You may avoid net wealth or selected assets taxes, but some countries may charge inheritance and gift taxes. Foreign investment income, and local income often have very different rates too.

Consider the region you move to

Although Spain has a net wealth tax, this is not country-wide. Regions like Madrid and Andalucía are great places to live for tax purposes, as they no longer charge a wealth tax for tax residents who reside there. You can expect to pay taxes for regular things like personal income taxes and income generated from financial investments.


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