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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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The ownership test: Meaning of ownership

For the purposes of the ownership test (IHTM25301) (including the three situations where the general rule is relaxed) we consider ownership to have the following meaning:



  • in the case of settled property in which there is no qualifying interest in possession, legal ownership by the trustees
  • in all other cases, beneficial entitlement (IHTM04031), which includes entitlement to settled property in which the deceased/transferor had a qualifying beneficial interest in possession (IHTM16060).

In view of IHTA84/S91, where an unadministered residuary estate (IHTM22025) includes business property, a residuary beneficiary is treated as owning the business property, or an appropriate share of it.