Attorney General v Milne: HL 7 Apr 1914

Section 1 of the Finance Act 1894 enacts that estate duty should be leviable on the principal value of all property, real or personal, settled or not settled, which passes on the death of the deceased.
Section 2, sub-section 1, as amended by section 59 of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910, enacts-‘Property passing on the death of the deceased shall be deemed to include’ property taken under a disposition purporting to act as an immediate gift inter vivos, unless the disposition was made three years before the death of the disponer.
Section 5, sub-section 1, enacts-When property in respect of which estate duty is leviable is settled by the will of the deceased, or having been settled by some other disposition passes under that disposition on the death of the deceased to some person not competent to dispose of the property (a) a further estate duty called settlement estate duty on the principal value of the settled property shall be levied.
Held that qua section 5 of the Finance Act 1894 the property must ‘pass at the death of the deceased,’ not constructively but actually. Therefore where an immediate life-interest is taken under a settlement, settlement estate duty is not payable under section 5, sub-section 1 (a), upon the death of the settlor within three years of the execution of the deed.
Judgment of the Court of Appeal, 1913, 2 Q.B. 606, affirmed, Lord Dunedin dissenting.


Lord Chancellor (Viscount Haldane), Lords Dunedin, Atkinson, and Parker


[1914] UKHL 636, 52 SLR 636




England and Wales

Inheritance Tax

Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.620710