The European Commission has formally requested the United Kingdom to amend its legislation in respect of agricultural property and woodlands because, they say, it is discriminatory, being applicable only to property in the United Kingdom.

The European Commission says that the United Kingdom should allow inheritance tax relief for all agricultural and forestry property situated in the European Union and European Economic Area member states, and is insisting that we change the law to do so. I wonder what happens if we don’t.

HMRC have issued some interim guidance in the form of a replacement of the relevant parts of the Inheritance Tax Manual. This is an enormous amount of text, and the changes are not highlighted, so it is extremely time-consuming to identify precisely how their guidance has changed. However, it looks as if the main revision is to exclude almost every reference to the United Kingdom from the passages relating to agricultural relief and woodlands.