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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Business interests: Settled property

Where a transfer on death includes a business, and settled property used in the business, the settled property is regarded as part of the business interest.  So it comes within this category of relevant business property (IHTM25141).  It does not matter whether the settled property consisted of the business itself or only an asset used in the business.

This situation will usually arise where the life tenant of land and buildings dies, and these assets are used were used in their business. This reflects the decision in Finch v IRC [1984] 3 WLR 212. However, there is some doubt whether this decision can apply on a lifetime transfer.

You should refer to Technical any claim for 100% relief where reference to the ‘Finch’ case is made in connection with a lifetime transfer of settled property used in a life tenant’s personal business.

In light of the ‘Finch’ decision we regard a deceased person with a beneficial interest in possession of settled assets as the owner of those assets. They cannot therefore be partnership assets and business relief is not due under s.105(1)(a). Instead, where they are used in a partnership in which the deceased was a partner, they can only obtain business relief by falling within s.105(1)(d) (IHTM25221).

Settled property used in a business may also qualify as relevant business property under the special rules for land and buildings, machinery and plant (IHTM25221), and settled property used in the life tenant’s business (IHTM25241).