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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Specific gifts: definition

For the purpose of the partly exempt transfer rules (IHTM26071) a specific gift is any gift other than a gift of the residue or a share of the residue, under IHTA84/S42(1). Typical specific gifts are:

  • pecuniary legacies (IHTM12082), whether given absolutely or settled
  • gifts of particular assets such as

    • the deceased’s residence
    • furniture, jewellery and other household and personal goods and effects
    • shares in companies and business assets.

More unusual specific gifts include

  • a provision in the Will (IHTM12041) that a person who owes the deceased money is forgiven the debt, so the debt is cancelled and no longer repayable. (Note that the debt is still an asset of the estate)
  • the statutory legacy (IHTM12122) and household and personal goods to which a spouse or civil partner (IHTM11032) is absolutely entitled under the intestacy laws (IHTM12121) other than in Scotland
  • legal rights (IHTM12221) under the law of Scotland (for the burden of tax see IHTM26201). 
  • a provision in the Will that the Inheritance Tax on a lifetime transfer (IHTM14001) is to be paid out of the residuary estate . The person who received the gift will get a pecuniary legacy of the amount of the tax