Personal tax – guidance

Tax relief for national heritage assets

How the Conditional Exemption Tax Incentive scheme works and what may qualify for relief.


Some buildings, land, works of art and other objects can be exempt from Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax when they pass to a new owner either as the result of a death or as a gift.

Qualifying conditions

The assets must be one of the following:

  • buildings, estates or parklands of outstanding historical or architectural interest
  • land of outstanding natural beauty and spectacular views
  • land of outstanding scientific interest including special areas for the conservation of wildlife, plants and trees
  • objects with national scientific, historic or artistic interest, either in their own right or due to a connection with historical buildings

The new owner must make an agreement, known as ‘the undertakings’ to:

  • look after the item
  • make it available for the general public to view
  • keep it in the UK

If the owner doesn’t keep to the agreement or sells the asset, the exemption is withdrawn and the tax must be paid.

HMRC determines which assets qualify for exemption on the advice of the government’s heritage advisory agencies.

You can find more details about tax relief for national heritage assets in Capital taxation and tax-exempt heritage assets.

Access to tax-exempt heritage assets

Get information about tax-exempt assets and arrangements for viewing by the public on the HMRC database.

You can:

When and where you can see the asset depends on the terms agreed with the owner. It may be restricted.

You should normally be allowed access:

  • as soon as is reasonably practical
  • on the day you want, from a choice of at least 3 weekdays and 2 Saturdays or Sundays within 4 weeks of your request
  • at a time between 10am and 4pm

You do not have to make the request in writing, but once the details of the appointment have been agreed you may be asked to confirm them in writing.

You can agree an alternative arrangement with the owner.

If the appointment is at the owner’s home, they can ask for identification to prove that you are the person who made the appointment.


For security reasons, the precise location of an object is not always given. The contact can tell you where the items can be seen.

You do not have to be given access where the item is normally kept. Another reasonable location may be agreed. The owner does not have to be present.

Charges to view or visit

Normal terms for these attractions apply. A reasonable charge may be made.


You can only take photographs with the owner’s permission.

Help with heritage assets

For help and advice on heritage relief, or if you have difficulty getting access to tax-exempt heritage assets, contact the HMRC Inheritance Tax - Heritage Team.

Ferrers House

PO Box 38

Castle Meadow Road



Tel: 03000 562388