The genesis of estate duty in Britain: antecedent taxes and political debates

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The paper which follows provides an account of the development and implementation in the UK of Estate Duty, a tax which was introduced in controversial circumstances and which remained controversial throughout its life. Estate Duty eventually had some bearing on the corporate structure of Britain, encouraging some family companies to sell out to larger conglomerates. It also contributed of the decline of large landed estates across Scotland and England. The paper first looks at the taxes which preceded Estate Duty, which were Probate Duty, Legacy Duty, Succession Duty and (Temporary) Estate Duty. It examines the arguments and debates which heralded Estate Duty's introduction into legislation and highlights the warnings which were largely ignored at the time but which have subsequently proved to be prophetic. The paper concludes with ideas for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-94
Number of pages15
JournalScottish Business and Industrial History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Estate Duty


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