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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Dispositions for the maintenance of the transferor's family: maintenance of a spouse or civil partner

A disposition (IHTM04023) is not a transfer of value (IHTM04024) if it is made by one party to a marriage or civil partnership (IHTM11032) and is both

  • in favour of the other party, and
  • is for the latter’s maintenance, IHTA84/S11 (1)(a).In view of the IHTA84/S18 spouse or civil partner exemption, (

IHTM11031) IHTA84/S11 (1)(a) is of little practical importance during the subsistence of the marriage or civil partnership (except in the rare case when spouse or civil partner exemption is limited by IHTA84/S18 (2)).

The main application of IHTA84/S11 (1)(a) is to provisions made on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. In its practical application, there is some overlap with IHTA84/S10, see IHTM04165. In many cases, dispositions made on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership for the benefit of the other party to the marriage or civil partnership, whether made following arm’s length negotiations or under the terms of a Court Order, are not treated as transfers of value because they come within IHTA84/S10. This may be so even if the amounts transferred exceed what could be regarded as provision for maintenance.

In view of the definition of ‘marriage’ or ‘civil partnership’, (IHTM04172) IHTA84/S11 (1)(a) can apply to the following dispositions for the maintenance of a divorced spouse or former civil partner

  • one made ‘on the occasion’ of the dissolution or annulment of a marriage or civil partnership, and
  • the variation of a disposition so made, e.g. on the remarriage of the other party.If a settlement is made on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, or is a variation of an existing settlement, in so far as it is made in satisfaction of a claim for maintenance of a former spouse or civil partner it is within IHTA84/S11 (1)(a).