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This article considers Inheritance tax (henceforth IHT). There are three main sections: firstly considering the objectives of the tax within the UK taxation system, secondly explaining the operation of the Inhertiance Tax Act 1984 (henceforth IHTA) and thirdly discussing whether IHTA represents a fair method of achieving the objectives identified.
2 Objectives of IHT
2.1 Theoretical basis of taxation[i]
That there must be taxes is widely accepted. The principle is clear: that monies must be collected by the state for the financing of things beneficial to society generally.[ii] Views differ as to the overall level of taxation which is appropriate (which does not concern us here) and also as to the fairest and most efficient basis for taxation: how should the tax burden be distributed across society?
2.1.1 Ability to pay
It is frequently agreed that taxes should fall most heavily upon those best able to pay them. This is true partly for pragmatic reasons, but also from a sense that it is only fair that those who are able to shoulder a greater share of the burden should do so.[iii]
2.1.2 Social engineering
Taxation is not only used as a means of collecting necessary revenue, but also as a tool of social engineering. This is exemplified by high taxes on goods which are seen as having socially or environmentally negative consequences, such as alcohol, tobacco and petrol. It can also take the more radical form of suggesting that taxation should aim for a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, in the interests of creating a more equal society.[iv] Similarly, there is also an argument that taxation ought not to distort the operation of the market since this may encourage economic inefficiency.[v]
Finally, but importantly, there may be pragmatic reasons for preferring one tax to another. A tax which is impossible to collect is useless, no matter how justified in principle, and, more generally, it is important to keep collection costs as low as possible.[vi]
2.2 Taxes on inheritance
We may now ask, “Why tax on death?” Reasons can be identified in all three of the above categories (2.1.1-2.1.3). Firstly, a person who dies has no further use for their wealth and is therefore well able to afford the tax. The legatees also, having received a gain at no expense, can afford a portion being paid for the general good. Secondly, the case for redistribution may be at its strongest with respect to inherited wealth, because, while allowing individuals to accumulate wealth can encourage industry, creativity and investment, allowing individuals to inherit wealth may have the opposite effect;[vii] there is also a visceral sense of unfairness that some should be immensely wealthy by the accident of their birth. Thirdly, IHT is fairly easy to collect. The estate must be valued in any case for administration. The collection cost per pound collected in 2008/9 was 0.99p, slightly cheaper than income tax, which cost 1.24p per pound to collect, although more expensive than most other direct taxes.[viii]
Nevertheless, tax on inheritance is not inevitable. For instance, Australia and Canada replace it with a capital gains tax on death.[ix] Some of the many suggested alternatives will be discussed at 4.2 below.
2.3 Historical development of IHT
To understand IHT as it now is, it is essential to understand the historical background.
2.3.1 Estate Duty
In 1894 Estate Duty was introduced as a tax on property passing either by will or on intestacy. It later expanded to catch certain gifts made in the period preceding death (as an anti-avoidance measure), and by 1974 it included gifts made up to seven years before death. By the 1970s it was widely condemned as being “voluntary”.[x]
2.3.2 Captial Transfer Tax
The Labour government of 1974 was elected on a platform of wealth redistribution, and they proposed to introduce a wealth tax. However, as Healey, the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, later admitted, “I found it impossible to draft one which would yield enough revenue to be worth the administrative cost and the political hassle.”[xi] A Capital Transfer Tax (henceforth CTT) was nevertheless introduced as a first stage in 1974, the intention being to prevent wealth transfers from operating to avoid the proposed wealth tax.[xii] CTT replaced the old Estate Duty with a tax on all transfers of capital, calculated on a cumulative and progressive basis over all gifts made either during life or on death.[xiii]
2.3.3 Inheritance Tax
In 1979, a Conservative government returned to power, and the principles unlying CTT were gradually eroded, so that the Finance Act 1986 (henceforth FA 1986), which introduced the name “Inheritance Tax”, merely completed the process. The thresholds were raised, exemptions were introduced and the cumulation period was reduced from life first to ten and then to seven years. Rules were introduced (as with Estate Duty) to prevent the avoidance of the tax by “preservation of benefit”. The result has been described as having, “The form of CTT, but more the substance of estate duty,”[xiv] and also, less charitably, as, “Simply a mess.”[xv]
It is certainly true that CTT had been widely criticised[xvi] and, while in opposition, Thatcher had indicated an intention to repeal it altogether.[xvii] It is also true that, the proposed wealth tax having lapsed, there was no need for the associated anti-avoidance measure. It is less clear why CTT should be replaced by a replication of the discredited estate duty, which also preserves most of the faults identified in CTT. One contemporary suggested that the reason for this reform was to encourage generosity in making life-time gifts,[xviii] but it is possible to suspect that another contemporary may have been right to describe it as merely “a shabby hand-out to the very rich.”[xix] The process has been called, “A game of perceptions as much as reality,”[xx] and it is possible that the government wished to emasculate CTT, without, for political reasons, being seen to allow unearned inheritances to escape taxation.
3 Operation of IHT
FA 1986 amended the Capital Transfer Tax Act 1984, including changing its name to the Inheritance Tax Act 1984.[xxi] This section of the essay consists of an explanation of the operation of IHTA, as amended. A full description of the Act fills a weighty tome[xxii], and this article focuses mainly on the core charging provisions, ss1-7.
3.2 Transfers of value
s.1 IHTA provides that tax shall be charged on the value transferred by a “chargeable transfer”. Immediately the “form of CTT” is apparent: the structure of the Act is to include all transfers, then later to potentially exempt those made inter vivos.[xxiii] s2 defines a “chargeable transfer” as being any “transfer of value” which is not exempt.[xxiv] s.3 explains what is meant “transfer of value”: this occurs whenever a disposition takes place which reduces the value of the estate.[xxv] The value of the transfer is the amount by which it diminishes the value of the estate,[xxvi] rather than the amount by which it enriches the recipient.
- If A gives B £10,000, then A has made a transfer of value of £10,000.
- If A sells B a piece of land worth £30,000 at a cost of £20,000 then A has prima facie made a transfer of value of £10,000, although see below for commercial transactions.
- If A gratuitously grants B an easement over A’s land which reduces the value of that land by £10,000, then A has made a transfer of value of £10,000.
- If A has a set of four paintings, such that the paintings separately are worth £5,000 each but taken as a set are worth £25,000, and A gives one painting to B, then since A’s three remaining paintings are worth only £15,000, A has made a transfer of value of £10,000.
3.3 Commercial transactions
s10 IHTA effectively excludes commercial transactions from being transfers of value, so the fact that the tax-payer has struck a bad bargain does not create an IHT liability. If the transaction was made, “At arm’s length between persons not connected with each other,”[xxvii] then it is sufficient to show that it was not intended to confer a gratuitous benefit. Between connected persons, it is also necessary to show that the transaction is such as might be expected to arise at arm’s length;[xxviii] that is to say that it is a reasonable commercial transaction which might have taken place between strangers.[xxix] Connected persons are defined in s270 IHTA and s286 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 and comprise relatives, trustees, partners and certain close companies.
3.4 Potentially exempt transfers
s3A was inserted by FA 1986 (sch 19 para 1), and it is this section which achieves the “substance of estate duty” by exempting inter vivos gifts, provided that the donor survives the gift by at least seven years. Hence these transfers are “potentially exempt”, and are known as “potentially exempt transfers” or PETs. s3A(4) provides that a PET made more than seven years before the death of the transferor is an exempt transfer and any other PET is a chargeable transfer. s3A(5) provides that a PET shall be treated as an exempt transfer until the death of the transferor should prove it to be chargeable. Therefore, in particular, no IHT will be payable on the PET unless and until the transferor dies within the seven year period following the transfer. The effect of this is that only in very limited circumstances is IHT payable inter vivos; IHT liability nearly always arises on the tax-payer’s death, as if it were an estate duty.
For a transfer to be a PET it must satisfy the three conditions in paragraphs (a)-(c) of s3A(1). Firstly, the transfer must be made on or after 18th March 1986, when the new provisions took effect, so that transfers which had already attracted a tax liability could not become retrospectively exempt. Secondly, the transfer must be one which would otherwise be chargeable. Thirdly, the transfer must either be a gift to an individual or a gift to a bereaved minor’s trust or a disabled trust.
Clearly the third of these conditions (in s3A(1)(c)) is the one which will most concern the tax-payer. Under s3A(2), for a transfer to count as a gift to an individual, it must increase the value of that individual’s estate, either directly or indirectly. Further, under s49, a person with an interest in possession under a trust is treated as beneficially entitled to the property, so that the creation of a trust will count as a gift to an individual, provided that somebody has an interest in possession under the trust. Therefore the only category of transfers likely to be immediately chargeable are those which create a trust without interest in possession. However, s3A(1)(c) goes on to include two particular trusts without interest in possession: bereaved minors’ trusts (see s71A) and disabled trusts (see s89). Both of these are intended to cover cases where the effect of a gift to an individual is intended, but, because that individual lacks legal capacity, a direct gift would be inappropriate. Prior to 22nd March 2006, gifts to accumulation and maintenance trusts were PETs, and it was often possible to draft trusts so that they would fall within this provision. However, most trusts without an interest in possession will now give rise to an immediate charge to IHT (subject to the availability of the nil rate band).
Examples (ignoring the effect of Part II exemptions)
- A gives B £10,000. This will be a PET of £10,000.
- A pays B’s hospital bill of £10,000. This is a PET of £10,000. Although the property does not become part of B’s estate, the value of B’s estate is increased because the debt is paid.
- A buys B a holiday for £10,000. This is a chargeable transfer of £10,000. The value of A’s estate has been diministed, so it falls within s3, but the value of B’s estate is not increased, so the transfer is not a PET. If it were desired to make the transaction potentially exempt, a gift of £10,000 should be made to B, who can then use it to buy a holiday.
- A gives B one of a set of four paintings with an individual value of £5,000, but worth £25,000 as a set. This is a PET of £10,000. Even though the value of B’s estate has only been increased by £5,000, the whole transfer is potentially exempt.
- A settles £10,000 on trust to B for life, remainder to C. This is a PET of £10,000. The trust property is treated under s49 as being part of B’s estate. If B surrenders his life interest, he would make a futher PET of £10,000 to C.
s4 IHTA provides that on a person’s death, IHT shall be charged as if he had made a transfer of the entire value of his estate immediately before death. Here the contrast between form and substance is at its most acute, because an Act, the effect of which is to tax estates, achieves this effect by treating the property passing on death as if it were an inter vivos transfer, while simultaneously excluding most actual inter vivos transfers by the operation of s3A.
3.5.1 Meaning of estate
Under s5(1), a person’s estate includes all property to which he was beneficially entitled immediately before death. This also includes property in which he had a life interest.[xxx] Because the estate is calculated immediately before death it includes property which passes automatically at the moment of death under the jus accrescendi, such as an interest under a joint tenancy. Certain property is excluded from the estate under s6, notably property outside the UK held by an individual domiciled outside the UK.
3.5.2 Gifts with reservation
s102 FA 1986 was introduced to stop the taxpayer from continuing to benefit from an asset after giving it away. It applies whenever property is disposed of by gift but the donor continues to enjoy some benefit of that property; this is called a “gift with reservation”. Under s102(3) FA 1986, such property shall be treated as if the taxpayer was beneficially entitled to it immediately before death. It is therefore included in the taxpayer’s estate and liable to IHT on death.
Despite this section, some schemes (such as ‘double trusts’) remain effective in causing an asset (often the family home) to be substantially transferred for IHT purposes while the donor continues to benefit from the asset (by living in it). For this reason, the ‘pre-owned assets’ regime was introduced, under which a charge to Income Tax arises when a person benefits from an asset that they previously owned but the asset is not caught by the gifts with reservation rule. Tax payers and their advisors should be alert to this potential liability, which in most cases makes such schemes unattractive.
3.5.3 Effect of death on PETs
At death, all the PETs in the previous seven years become chargeable transfers under s3A(4).
3.5.4 Valuation of estate
The estate is valued according to part VI of the Act, ss160-198. The basic rule[xxxi] is that the estate will be given the value that it would fetch on the open market, without any reduction being made for the whole property’s being placed on the market at the same time. It should also be noted that s171 provides that any changes in value which occur by reason of death shall be treated as if they had occurred before death. For instance, a life assurance policy shall be valued at its maturity value rather than its surrender value.
3.6 Exemptions and reliefs
It will be recalled that a chargeable transfer is defined by s2 IHTA to be any transfer of value which is not an exempt transfer. Exempt transfers are defined in Part II IHTA, ss18-42. There are also some transfers which are chargeable but which qualify for a full or partial relief reducing the value deemed to have been transferred. These reliefs are described in Part V IHTA, ss103-159. In an article of this length, it is only possible to outline the main categories of exemptions and reliefs.
Under s18, transfers between spouses or civil partners are exempt. Under s19, transfers of value up to £3,000 in any one year are exempt. Moreover, this allowance can be rolled-over for one year only. Therefore, if no transfers of value have been made in one year, then up to £6,000 is exempt the following year. Small gifts of up to £250 to any one person in any one year are exempt under s20. Under s21, a gift is exempt if it is part of the transferor’s normal expenditure paid out of his income, leaving him with sufficient income to maintain his customary standard of living. Thus, a regular payment of £1,000 a year, out of income, to each of one’s grandchildren, would be exempt (provided that sufficient income was left to maintain one’s standard of living). Under s22, wedding presents are exempt up to £5,000 for parents, £2,500 for remoter ancestors and £1,000 for others. Under s23 gifts to charities are exempt. Of these exemptions, only the spouse exemption and the charity exemption are applicable on death.
Note that these exemptions can be cumulated, so that if a couple’s child was getting married, and neither parent had used any of their annual exemption allowance in the previous year, each parent could give a total of £11,250 to the child outside the IHT regime, giving a reasonably substantial combined total of £23,000.
3.6.2 Dispositions for maintencance of family
It should also be mentioned here that under s11, dispositions for the maintenance of one’s spouse or civil partner or children (up to the age of 18 or in full time education) are not transfers of value at all. Therefore they are not strictly speaking exempt transfers, but the effect is much the same. Again, this only applies inter vivos.
The most important reliefs are those on business (ss 103-114) and agricultural (ss115-124) property. These reliefs apply to reduce the value deemed to be transferred by either 50% or 100%.
3.7 Tax payable
Tax is payable on chargeable transfers at the rates indicated in sch 1 IHTA: 0% for the first £325,000 (in 2012/13) and 40% thereafter. The threshold is generally increased from year to year, although it has remained at the current level since April 2009. Under s7(1)(b), the total value transferred in the seven years up to and including the transfer must be cumulated to find the applicable rate.
3.7.1 Tax payable on death
This means that, on death, it is necessary to consider all transfers of value made in the previous seven years. These will usually have been PETs at the time they were made, but will now have become chargeable and tax will be due. For each of these transfers it is first necessary to apply any applicable exemptions or reliefs to determine the value which falls to be taxed. If there have been no chargeable life-time transfers (as will frequently be the case), the whole of the nil-rate band will be available at the start of the seven year period. The nil-rate band will be applied first to the earliest transfers, and once it is used up, the subsequent transfers will fall to be taxed at the 40% rate.
A transfers £100,000 to B in each of 2000 and 2008 and dies in 2010 leaving the whole of his free estate (worth £300,000) to B. A was joint tenant with his wife (who suvives him) of the family home, in which A’s interest was worth £500,000.
s3A applies to the transfers made in 2000 and 2008, as they were gifts to an individual: they were both PETs. Since A died in 2010, the 2000 PET is an exempt transfer and the 2008 PET is a chargeable transfer. The s19 annual exemption is applicable and can be rolled over from 2007, so £6,000 of the transfer is exempt. Therefore the 2008 transfer is a chargeable transfer of £94,000.
Under s4, A is deemed to have made a transfer of value of £800,000 immediately before his death. The annual exemption is not available here, as it only applies to inter vivos transfers.[xxxii] However, the s18 spouse exemption is available, so the £500,000 interest in the house, passing by survivorship to A’s wife, is exempt. Therefore A makes a chargeable transfer of £300,000 in 2010.
For 2008 the whole of the nil-rate band is available. The whole £94,000 will be taxed at 0% so no tax is payable on this transfer. For 2010, £231,000 of the nil-rate band remains. The first £231,000 of the transfer is taxed at 0% and the other £69,000 at 40%. Therefore IHT of £27,600 is payable. This will be paid by A’s executors before handing over the remaining £272,400 to B.
3.7.2 Taper relief
s7(4) IHTA provides for “taper relief” on transfers made more than three but less than seven years before death. The longer the transferor survives the transfer, the greater the relief available: between three and four years, tax is charged at 80% of the normal rate; between four and five years, 60%; between five and six years, 40%; and between six and seven years, 20%. The effect is that the potential tax liability of a transfer gradually reduces as the transferor gets older, presumably on the basis that a small difference in time should not result in an enormous difference in the tax due.
3.7.3 Chargeable life-time transfers
s7(2) IHTA applies to inter vivos transfers which are chargeable at the time. As explained at 3.4, the only significant life-time transfers which are not potentially exempt are transfers to trusts with no interest in possession. Such transfers are taxed at half the rates in sch 1, subject to the usual exemptions and reliefs and the seven year cumulation period. If the settlor dies within seven years of the transfer, then tax must be recalculated on the basis outlined above, and extra tax may be payable. However, s7(5) ensures that tax will never be repaid. Discretionary trusts also attract 10-year and exit charges, but space does not permit any discussion of these. However, it may be noted that the 10-year and exit charges are not large, and the benefits of a trust structure in some cases will outweigh these costs.
A gives £100,000 to B in 2005 and settles £500,000 as a discretionary trust in April 2007 (the trustees to pay the IHT), before dying in June 2010.
In 2007, A is still alive and so the 2005 transfer is treated as being exempt (s3A(5)). Therefore the whole of the nil-rate band is available. Also, the annual exemptions for 1996 and 1997 can be used, so A has made a chargeable transfer of £494,000. The first £325,000 is taxed at 0% and the remaining £169,000 is taxed at 20% (half of 40%), so the tax payable by the trustees in 2007 is £33,800.
When A dies in 2010, the tax must be recalculated. The 2005 PET now becomes chargeable; taking into account the annual exemption, the value is £94,000. This falls within the nil-rate band and no tax is payable on this transfer. Now only £231,000 of the nil-rate band remains for 2007. Taper relief applies: since the transfer was between three and four years before death, tax is charged at 80% of the sch 1 rates. The first £231,000 of the £494,000 transfer is taxed at 0% and the remaining £263,000 is taxed at 80% of 40%, which is 32%, giving a tax liability of £84,160. This is greater than the £33,800 originally paid, so the surplus of £50,360 must now be paid by the trustees.
3.7.4 Transfer of nil-rate band between spouses and civil partners
Since 9th October 2007, it has been possible for the surviving spouse or civil partner to benefit from any unused part of the nil-rate band of the first to die. This generally obviates the need for schemes intended to ensure the maximum use of both nil-rate bands (such as nil-rate band trusts). The value of the carried over nil-rate band will be the relevant proportion of the nil-rate band at the time of the second death. It is possible that the nil-rate band may increase significantly within the next few years, as it was proposed in the last Conservative manifesto to raise the threshold to £1 million, although it must be said that little has been heard of this policy since. If such a rise were to take place, it would be advantageous to reserve as much as possible of the first nil-rate band for the second death.
3.8 Who pays?
Liability to pay IHT is allocated by Part VII of the Act (ss199-214). The basic rule on death[xxxiii] is that the personal representatives pay the IHT associated with the tax-payer’s free estate and also on property passing by survivorship, the trustees pay the IHT associated with trust property, and donees of PETs which have become chargeable pay their associated IHT. The transferor is liabile for the IHT due on chargeable life-time transfers[xxxiv], although often the burden will be shifted to the recipient trustees.
4 Does IHTA represent a fair way of achieving the objective of IHT?
4.1 Problems with IHT
This article began by identifying the fundamental purpose of taxation as being to collect revenue. One of the problems with the old estate duty was that the tax was too easy to avoid. In this respect IHT is no improvement. In the last year of estate duty, that tax contributed 2.38% to inland revenue receipts (down from 29% in 1908/1909).[xxxv] In 2011-2012, IHT contributed only 0.7% of the government’s total tax income.[xxxvi] This continued poor rate of return is unsurprising, given the marked practical similarities between estate duty and IHT. It remains “a voluntary tax imposed only on those who [are] unlucky and [die] young or [are] too greedy to part with capital before old age.”[xxxvii]
Sandford has also pointed out that IHT favours the very rich, who are best able to make gifts relatively early in life, and that the tax imposed on those unlucky enough to die young is a tax which affects those beneficiaries who are less able to afford it, since they may have lost the family’s main earner.[xxxviii] The tax therefore fails to satisfy the equity principle mentioned at 2.1.1.
Looking at the more detailed provisions, it is unclear why the nil-rate band should be so vast. In effect, this excludes the vast majority of estates from taxation. Income tax is payable on annual income above £4,895; why should a person inheriting a £325,000 estate escape taxation entirely? The merits of the agricultural and business reliefs may also be questioned. The intention is to prevent the family business or farm from having to be sold to meet the IHT liability, but it is unclear why such continuity is in the national interest.[xxxix]
It has also been pointed out[xl] that IHT, as a tax on transferors, is not in logical alignment with income tax and capital gains tax, which are taxes on receipts.
4.2 Proposals for reform
Various suggestions for reform have been made.[xli] The simplest reform (favoured by Kerridge) would be to abolish IHT altogether. Given the low level of receipts, this is perfectly practical. Such a tax cut might be unpopular (although the reaction to the Conservatives’ 2007 proposals suggests the opposite), as benefitting only the rich, but it could also be combined with a reimposition of capital gains tax on death, since it is hardly logical that inter vivos gifts are treated less favourably for captial gains tax purposes. A contrasting possibility suggested by Goodhart is to tax gifts as income. As he says, “Receipts from inheritances are just as much an addition to resources—and hence to taxable capacity—as receipts from employment.”[xlii] This proposal has a certain logic in its favour and it cannot be doubted that it would very considerably increase tax receipts. Unfortunately, this very fact is likely to render it politically unacceptable. A less radical proposal would be to have a true inheritance tax, charged on the cumulative amount received by beneficiaries over their lifetimes. Unfortunately, while this has been proposed in the past, it has always proved too difficult to implement.[xliii] Finally, a wealth tax might be introduced, although this proved too difficult a task in the 1970s.
It is hard to see anything like logic in the IHTA. This could be justified if the tax were a success on pragmatic grounds, but it is not. It is neither fair nor efficient. While there would be considerable practical difficulties in administering either a wealth or an acquisitions tax, the proposals to tax inherited wealth either as income or as a realised capital gain pose no greater practical problems than the present system, with much greater logic. Of these, the latter is far more likely to prove acceptable to the public.
[i] Cf. Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, chap 1.
[ii] Tiley (2000), 1.2.1.
[iii] Dobris (1984), 366.
[iv] Ibid., 364.
[v] Tiley (2000), 1.3.3.
[vi] Ibid., 1.3.5.
[vii] Dobris (1984), ??.
l[viii] Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 7.
[ix] Tiley (2000), 1134.
[x] Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 459.
[xi] Quoted in Tiley (2000), 1136, n8.
[xii] Williams (1986), 429.
[xiii] Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 459.
[xiv] Kerridge (1999), 351.
[xv] Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 460.
[xvi] The arguments are summarised in Dobris (1984).
[xvii] Sandford (1986), 140.
[xviii] Williams (1986), 429.
[xix] Sandford, quoted in Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 460.
[xx] Dobris (1984), 377.
[xxi] s100 FA 1986.
[xxii] McCutcheon (2004).
[xxiii] See 3.4.
[xxiv] See 3.6 for exemptions.
[xxv] See 3.5.4 for the valuation of the estate.
[xxvi] s3(1) IHTA.
[xxvii] s10(1)(a) IHTA.
[xxviii] s10(1)(b) IHTA.
[xxix] Revenue Law: Principle and Practice, 463.
[xxx] s49 IHTA.
[xxxi] s160 IHTA.
[xxxii] s19(5) IHTA.
[xxxiii] s200 IHTA.
[xxxiv] s199 IHTA.
[xxxv] Goodhart (1988), 473.
[xxxvi] HM Revenue and Customs receipts, ONS
[xxxvii] Goodhart (1988), 473.
[xxxviii] Sandford (1986), 142.
[xxxix] Goodhart (1988), 477.
[xl] Kerridge (1999), 355.
[xli] Dobris (1984), Goodhart (1988), Kerridge (1999).
[xlii] Goodhart (1988), 479.
[xliii] Revenue Law: Principles and Practice, 459.