Definition of death duty in English:

death duty


  • [mass noun] (in the UK) a tax levied on property after the owner's death (replaced officially in 1975 by capital transfer tax and in 1986 by inheritance tax).

    • ‘Oh, there were trust and will departments, but there were not legions of accountants who did nothing but sit around all day thinking up clever ways to cheat the tax man out of his death duty.’
    • ‘The cost of running households and estates escalated just as death duties and discriminatory taxes were beginning to bite.’
    • ‘His first urgent measure, he has promised, will be to wipe away Italy's death duties and capital transfer tax.’
    • ‘The states used to levy death duties, but when Queensland abolished its tax in 1977, partly to lure retirees, the other states followed.’
    • ‘To cut death duties, you may wish to buy any overseas property jointly with your adult children.’
    • ‘Inheritance tax is a form of death duty and without some sound tax planning in advance you can saddle your nearest and dearest with it.’
    • ‘‘Death,’ the Chancellor declared, ‘is the ideal time to tax rich people,’ and he increased death duties by more than 50 per cent.’
    • ‘Banks and insurers are cashing in on growing disaffection with inheritance tax by promoting services that offer to cut death duties.’
    • ‘It was against this backdrop of economic vulnerability that rising income taxes and death duties proved so painful.’
    • ‘By selling off substantial peripherals, he hopes to be able to leave the Bute estate to his children, rather than inheritance tax and death duty.’
    • ‘The Institute for Public Policy Research said the chancellor could raise £147m a year and cut death duty for up to 90% of people.’
    • ‘He said: ‘It is fairer because it is a tax on profits, whereas death duties are a tax on the value of what you own.’’
    • ‘An increasing number of homeowners are already being caught in the inheritance tax net, which now claims £3 billion a year in death duties, double the figure in 1997.’
    • ‘The whole of Skipton Castle and its estate was to be sold to pay off death duties.’
    • ‘It's not unknown for small to medium-sized businesses to ‘downsize’ (sack people) or even go bankrupt under the burden of death duties when the patriarch dies.’
    • ‘In 1974, he inherited, at the age of 18, an estate comprising 3,500 acres and a massive tax bill for death duties.’
    • ‘His father died in 1950, leaving the estate with £7 million in death duties to pay.’
    • ‘Property taxes, capital gains and death duties in respect of US assets are also payable by all US nationals wherever they may be.’
    • ‘At present, your heirs pay death duties at 40%, even if they are basic-rate taxpayers.’
    • ‘The castle was being sold to pay death duties upon the estate of Lord Hothfield.’


death duty