Cautionary tale of a notaire and a sale

24 January 2018

When my partner died in 2012 I had our house and chattels valued for inheritance tax, even though I could stay in the house until I died or decided to sell. I paid the tax and decided to sell. The house finally sold in September 2016 for considerably under its original value.

I expected a tax refund would soon be forthcoming as agreed with the notaire on the day of the sale. Several letters were ignored, he was never available on the phone, multiple emails were ignored. Finally an appointment was made to see him in December 2016.

He agreed I was due a tax refund and I would receive a refund of this along with the tax refund in January. In January 2017 I asked the tax office for my repayment and was dumbfounded to receive from them a bill for unpaid inheritance tax plus a whopping amount of interest.

Fortunately, I had kept all of my paperwork and was able to prove I had paid the inheritance tax due the beginning of August 2012 to the notaire.

One year and two months after selling and after involving the notaires council, I got my overpayment of tax returned.

The moral of the tale is: don’t give up, make lots of fuss and – importantly – keep all relevant documents.

Viona Harbour, by email

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