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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Estate Duty surviving spouse exemption: introduction

The exemption was contained in FA1894/S5 (2), as amended by various statutes up to and including the FA 1956. The requirements for exemption are that if

  • duty had been paid, or was treated as paid, (IHTM04452)
  • in respect of any settled property since the date of the settlement, (IHTM04456)
  • in connection with the death of one of the parties to a marriage, (IHTM04465)

it was not payable on that property again on the death of the other party to the marriage unless that person was at the time of their death, or had been at any time during the continuance of the settlement, competent to dispose (IHTM04457) of the property.

Each of these requirements is subject to exceptions and qualifications.

For the exemption to apply in respect of Inheritance Tax remember that the death of the first spouse to die must have occurred before 13 November 1974.