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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Annuity to spouse or civil partner: annuity payable by the surviving partners of a business

Where the deceased’s interest in a partnership (IHTM25101) passes to the surviving partners subject to an obligation to pay an annuity (IHTM16211) to the deceased’s spouse or civil partner (IHTM11032), you can treat the value of the deceased’s partnership interest as exempt to the market value of that annuity. If the whole of the partnership interest qualifies for 100% business relief (IHTM25131) or agricultural relief (IHTM24001), there will be no value to exempt.

Although the annuity may not be enforceable by the spouse or civil partner - Re Miller’s Agreement [1947, Ch 615] - you should not use this possibility to deny exemption provided the annuity is actually paid. You can accept this if you have confirmation that the surviving partners have paid the annuity up to the date of your enquiry.