All of the capital taxes which have been in force since 1894 – estate duty, capital transfer tax and inheritance tax – have to some extent operated as taxes on lifetime gifts. Under estate duty, the period during which gifts were vulnerable to charge was increased gradually from one to seven years before death. The charge on lifetime gifts reached its peak under CTT between 1974 and 1981, when transferors who had reached high cumulative totals paid the same rates of tax as those charged on death. By 1984 the lifetime rates had fallen back to half the rate for transfers on death.

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