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When PETs go bad

16 June 2009 / Terry Jordan
Issue: 4210 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Inheritance Tax
TERRY JORDAN provides a brief guide to the taxation of potentially exempt transfers


  • When PETS apply and what values are taken into account?
  • The effect of a death within seven years of the transfer.
  • Can a PET be set aside?
  • What PETs can be made by those with a power of attorney?
  • Is a PET really a good idea?

This is not a diatribe against Rufus the Taxation dog by the current occupants of Watership Down but rather a discussion of some aspects of the inheritance tax potentially exempt transfer (PET) regime with particular reference to the current economic downturn.

When inheritance tax replaced capital transfer tax on 18 March 1986 it brought with it the concept of the ‘potentially exempt transfer’. It is often said that a more appropriate title would be ‘potentially chargeable transfer’ since to escape inheritance tax the PET needs...

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