8.7 Inheritance tax

Shares in unlisted companies qualify for business relief from inheritance tax, where these shares have been passed on during a person’s lifetime or as part of their will. For people who died after 6 April 1996 business relief on shares in unlisted companies is 100%. Business relief from inheritance tax may extend to withdrawable shares in societies, as long as the society is engaged in a trade which is it is carrying on for the purposes of making a gain. 

Evidence of this will be expressed in the objects of the society, and in its behaviour, for instance, through the payment of interest on share capital. Business relief is not available if the trade is carried on otherwise than for gain; this might apply to some charitable community benefit societies or societies that have stated an intention never to pay interest on share capital. (For detailed guidance see HMRC Inheritance Tax Manual)


If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop