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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Agricultural property: definition of agricultural property

Agricultural property is defined in IHTA84/S115 (2). It means agricultural land or pasture (IHTM24031) which includes woodland (IHTM24032) and any building used in connection with the intensive rearing of livestock or fish (IHTM24033), if the woodland or building

  • is occupied with agricultural land or pasture, (IHTM24031) and
  • the occupation is ancillary to that of the agricultural land or pasture.

It also includes cottages, (IHTM24034) farm buildings (IHTM24035) and farmhouses, (IHTM24036) together with the land occupied with them, if they are of a character appropriate (IHTM24050) to the agricultural land or pasture.

Dividing the definition of agricultural property into parts stems from the case of Starke v IRC [1995] STC 689 which considered the meaning of agricultural land or pasture.

Agricultural relief is only available where there is agricultural land or pasture. You must establish that the assets transferred contained agricultural land (IHTM24030) or pasture that was occupied for agricultural purposes (IHTM24060) first. Only then can you consider whether any farmhouses (IHTM24036) farm cottages (IHTM24035) or buildings (IHTM24034) qualify for agricultural relief. This is why you need to identify each part of the agricultural property, so you can consider its agricultural value (IHTM24150) against which agricultural relief will apply, if the occupation (IHTM24070) or ownership (IHTM24100) conditions are satisfied.