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Inheritance Tax

A look at the inheritance tax

Are you familiar with the Death Duties?

Many of our heroes in hist roms are newly inherited. In addition to all the legalities this entails, our heroes would also have had to deal with what’s known as the Death Duties. It was during the Georgian era that this inheritance tax was first introduced, 1796, to be exact. It was, at the time, broken into three separate taxes: legacy duty, succession duty, and estate duty. The three separate taxes, collectively called the Death Duties, were eventually consolidated into the Inheritance Tax, but not until the 20th century.

No time for bereavement, not when the government wishes to profit from death! Who paid, who was held responsible, the value, and more, changed constantly, but this was not a tax on those wealthy estates our heroes would have inherited, rather any “estate” worth over 20 quid. That’s not to say everyone was held accountable—we know how that goes, right?—but the gist was if you inherited property, you had a tax to pay.

Those who inherited a debt-ridden estate, thus, had an additional debt to add to the vowels. Makes you question if inheritance was a blessing or curse.

What was taxable included ALL of the deceased’s assets (home, contents, purse, holdings), gifts made within 7 years before death, assets affected by the death (such as a trust—which has its own additional tax regime), promised gifts or donations (such as the hermit promised residence in the hermitage or the guests promised residence in the dower house, etc.).

What was owed? Well, that figure has changed over time, but it’s roundabout, give or take, 40% of the estate’s value. Yikes.

There are—you guessed it—all kinds of rules, caveats, additions, exceptions, exemptions, reductions, especially when it comes to how quickly one pays the tax vs how long they delay the payment.

Are those heroines sure they want to ally themselves with those newly inherited heroes!? Here’s hoping the estate is exceedingly profitable!

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