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Inheritance tax – an equitable tax no longer: time for abolition?

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Statistics from HM Revenue & Customs predict that receipts from inheritance tax will amount to some £3.56 billion in the tax year 2006/07. This compares to £1.68 billion in 1997/98. This paper explores the reason for the large increase in inheritance tax revenues and, in the light of those findings, together with a consideration of the recent public reaction to the changes to the inheritance taxation of trusts announced in the Budget 2006 and incorporated in the Finance Act 2006, argues that, whereas the justification for a tax on the value of property in a person’s estate on death (or within a certain number of years before death) was rooted in equity, equity now forms the argument for its abolition or, at least, its substantial reform.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Professor of Law, University of Southampton

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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