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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Definition and extent of liability: particular situations

General powers of appointment

The trustees (IHTM30034) of a fund over which the deceased had and exercised by will a general power of appointment are liable for the tax attributable to that property under IHTA84/S200 (1)(b). The personal representatives (IHTM05012) are also liable under IHTA84/S200 (1)(c) so far as the property vested in them at any time after the death. As both classes of persons are liable, the trustees, if they make assets available to the personal representatives, should take suitable indemnities.

Bona Vacantia etc.

Where the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall takes the residuary estate as bona vacantia (or, in Scotland) as ultimus haeres) there is no liability to tax on that property for deaths on or after 26 July 1984 as the Crown is immune from taxation.

In Scottish cases the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer lodges an inventory in respect of property falling to the Crown as ultimus haeres

In the case of a death before 26 July 1984, Crown immunity does not apply as the Crown was not a liable person prior to that date. In these circumstances liability for Inheritance Tax rests with the personal representative, who will be one of the following: Treasury Solicitor, Solicitor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Solicitor of the Duchy of Cornwall, or Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer.

Calculations of tax should be sent to them in the normal way.