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Inheritance Tax: Exemptions

Volume 548: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether exemptions from inheritance tax granted before 1976 pass to the new owner of the exempted items on the death of the pre-1976 owner and, if so, whether the new owner is obliged to allow public access to those items.

Conditional exemption may be claimed on the death of the owner of a work of art exempted on a previous occasion before 1976. If conditional exemption is sought and granted the new owner will have to preserve the object, keep it in the UK and provide reasonable public access to it. The old exemption will then lapse. If conditional exemption is not granted on the death of the pre-1976 owner, inheritance tax will be chargeable in the normal way. In addition, if the original exemption was given under the estate duty rules, any undertakings given for the estate duty exemption will either remain in force or, where undertakings were given after 5th August 1965, will have to be renewed. A subsequent sale of the object or failure to observe or, where appropriate, renew any old undertakings will lead to an estate duty charge.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether agreements allowing public access to items exempt from Inheritance Tax apply to items exempted before 1976.

Reasonable access for members of the public is required for all works of art granted conditional exemption on a transfer made after 6th April 1976. Where the last chargeable transfer of the work of art was between 29th July 1950 and 6th April 1976, the owner has to provide access only to researchers. For earlier transfers, there is no right of access to researchers or to the public.