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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Loss on sale of land: sales: date of sale or purchase

Under IHTA84/S198 (1), the date of sale or purchase an interest in land for the purposes of this relief is usually the date on which a person enters into a contract to sell or purchase it, provided the contract is eventually completed, Jones (Balls’ Administrators) v IRC [1997] STC358.

But this rule is modified if

  • the sale or purchase results from the exercise of an option. In this case, if the option is exercised not more than six months after the date the option was granted, the date of sale or purchase is the date the option was granted IHTA84/S198 (2).
  • the sale is the result of a compulsory purchase order. (IHTM33091). In this case the date of sale is generally the date on which compensation is agreed or otherwise determined or, if earlier, the date when the authority enters the land, IHTA84/S198 (3)
  • the sale is an acquisition under a general vesting declaration or (in Northern Ireland) a vesting order. In this case the date of sale is the last day of the period specified in the declaration or the date when the vesting order becomes operative, IHTA84/S198 (4).

In Scotland, it is not completely clear when a real right to property passes. for example on the conclusion of missives, on the signing of a disposition or on the recording or registration of the title. In any case where this date could affect the claim you should ask Technical for advice.

Where you have a case involving any of the above modifications you should refer to Technical for advice.