Magazine
Latest Issue

The information

Debunking the inheritance tax myth

By Prospect   March 2010

It is an oft-repeated myth that taxes on inheritance were originally introduced (in 1894) to affect primarily the very rich, but that they now hit even modest fortunes. In fact, far fewer estates now pay the tax than half a century ago. The original, 1894 threshold, was just £100, which remained unchanged until 1946. By 1939, 153,000 paid the tax—against only about 36,000 in 2009, despite the population having risen by a quarter in that time. The tax now produces around 2 per cent of all direct tax, against 15 per cent in 1939. In that year, three quarters of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect