Secondary liability for inheritance tax?

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Secondary liability for inheritance tax?

Can a personal representative have secondary liability for inheritance tax in Ireland? Yes if there are non-resident beneficiaries obtaining benefits.


Generally the beneficiary (the person who gets the benefit) is liable and responsible for paying his or her own capital acquisition tax (inheritance tax) on receiving a benefit.

The Capital Acquisition Tax Consolidation Act 2003 imposes an obligation on a beneficiary to file a Capital Acquisition Tax (CAT) return.

The law provides that there is an obligation to file where the value of the benefit exceeds 80% of the tax free threshold for the benefit.

Secondary liability only applies in limited circumstances where an Irish resident personal representative (or a solicitor acting as agent) may be liable for the CAT of a non-resident beneficiary.

tax liability of a personal representative

An Irish personal representative is automatically the agent of non-resident beneficiaries.

A practising solicitor (“the solicitor referred to in S.48(10)”) is required to take out a grant and be the agent of non-resident beneficiaries if:

(i) there is no Irish resident personal representative,

(ii) there are non-resident beneficiaries;

(iii) property is worth €20,000; and

(iv) a return would be required to be made if the valuation date in respect of that property were the date of death of that person.

If you require further information please contact Michelle to set up a consultation.


The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice.

No liability whatsoever is accepted by M. McLoughlin & Co. for any action taken in reliance on the information in this article



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