HC Deb 22 February 1955 vol 537 c1062
42. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Chan cellor of the Exchequer in what circum stances voluntary gifts, such as birthday presents, form part of a person's estate for Estate Duty purposes.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Under the general rule a voluntary gift made to an individual within five years of the donor's death attracts Estate Duty in connection with that death. Gifts in consideration of marriage, gifts which formed part of the normal expenditure of the deceased and are reasonable, and absolute gifts which in the case of any one donee do not exceed £500, are excluded from the charge under this rule.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Chancellor bear in mind that, from the correspondence which I have been receiving, it is apparent that there is considerable concern about this matter among those who have been subscribing to the Prime Minister's 80th birthday gift, and will he clarify the position?

Mr. Butler

So far as I am concerned, the situation is quite clear, but if the hon. Gentleman wishes to send me any of his correspondence, I shall be glad to look at it.