Sections 8A–8C were introduced into the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 by FA 2008, s. 10 and Sch. 4. The legislation allows a claim to be made to transfer any unused IHT nil-rate band on a person's death (no matter what the date of their death – but see below for civil partners) to the estate of their surviving spouse or civil partner who dies on or after 9 October 2007. This will apply where the IHT nil-rate band of the first deceased spouse or civil partner was not fully used in calculating the IHT liability of their estate. When the surviving spouse or civil partner dies, the unused amount may be added to their own nil-rate band (IHTA 1984, s. 8A). See also IHTM 43000.

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