Woodlands

By Tolley in association with William Hadley at Boodle Hatfield LLP
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The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with William Hadley at Boodle Hatfield LLP provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Woodlands
  • Outline of woodlands relief
  • Conditions for the deferral of IHT
  • IHT arising on a subsequent sale of the timber
  • IHT arising on a subsequent gift of the timber
  • Planning points

Woodlands may attract one of three different types of relief from inheritance tax (IHT) depending on the nature of the land and timber operations. These are:

  • agricultural property relief (APR) covered in the APR guidance note (IHTA 1984, ss 115–124C)
  • business property relief (BPR) covered in the BPR guidance note (IHTA 1984, ss 103–114)
  • or woodlands relief (IHTA 1984, ss 125–130)

This note concentrates on woodlands relief but APR and BPR are also considered briefly below.

Woodlands may obtain APR if they are occupied with agricultural land or pasture and their occupation is ancillary to that of the agricultural land or pasture. An example is a strip of woodland acting as a wind shelter for farmland.

IHTM04373

Alternatively, woodlands may qualify for BPR if they are run as a commercial business (eg orchards or nurseries) or otherwise generate business profits by regularly producing timber.

APR and BPR are usually to be preferred to woodlands relief. This is because, effectively, APR and BPR provide the equivalent of an exemption from IHT (at 50% or 100% of the relevant value of the property) whereas woodlands relief only defers IHT. Moreover, woodlands relief only defers the IHT on the timber, not on the underlying land. However, there will be occasions when woodlands are either not associated with agricultural property or are not part of commercial operations (eg where held as part of a private estate or as an investment) and so woodlands relief needs to be considered.

The remainder of this note concentrates on woodlands relief.

Outline of woodlands relief

More on IHT reliefs: