Death and taxes: estate duty – a neglected factor in changes to British business structure after World War Two

Marie M. Fletcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper will examine Estate Duty(ED) and its impact on the structure of smaller British businesses. ED was one of the most controversial and wide-ranging taxes ever imposed in the UK. It was the first substantive tax on capital. It was partly responsible for the reconfiguration of British business in the 1940s- 1950s as businesses sought to avoid the Duty with measures which could result in the loss of a family firm to the “corporate economy”. Examining this phenomenon adds a hitherto unexplored dimension to the arguments of business historians surrounding the structure of British business and its relative performance after World War II.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-209
Number of pages23
JournalBusiness History
Volume65
Issue number1
Early online date22 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • estate duty
  • death duties
  • corporate economy
  • business structure
  • anticipatory action

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