Probate Tax - CAT 3
What is probate tax?
Probate Tax applies only to Deaths occurring between 18 June 1993 and 5 December 2000.
A document known as a grant of probate and which is issued by the Probate Office of the High Court is the means of releasing the assets in the estate of a deceased person to those entitled to them under the terms of a will. Where there is no will (intestacy), a grant of letters of administration is issued. To obtain a grant in respect of deaths that occurred prior to 5th December 2001 the personal representative of the deceased must present an Inland Revenue Affidavit to the Revenue Commissioners. The Affidavit sets out the assets and liabilities of the deceased at the date of death. Since 18 June, 1993 the taxable value of estates above a relevant threshold is, on presentation of the Inland Revenue Affidavit, subject to a 2% tax. Where a death occurred between the 18th June 1993 and the 5th December 2000 inclusive the taxable value of such estates above the relevant threshold may be subject to a 2% tax. This is Probate Tax.
The Thresholds for Probate Tax for the years of its existence are as follows – year of death indicates the threshold to be used.
|Year of death||Amount €|
When is the tax payable?
Probate Tax is payable at the time the Inland Revenue Affidavit is presented to the Revenue Commissioners. Whether or not there is any liability to the tax, the Probate Tax Self Assessment Form P.T.1 (PDF, 67KB) must be completed and presented at the same time.
Interest at 1% per month or part of a month is chargeable if after 9 months from the date of death, payment has not been received. Such interest which may accrue cannot, however, exceed the amount of the tax.
What exemptions are allowed?
Estates having a taxable value under a relevant threshold which is index linked, are entirely exempt. It is important to note that where the taxable value exceeds the relevant threshold the entire estate is liable to tax. In arriving at the taxable value of estates, the following deductions from the gross estate are allowed -
- debts of the deceased due at the date of death and funeral expenses;
- 30% of the value of agricultural land and buildings;
- the value of the dwelling-house including grounds of up to one acre and the normal contents, if inherited by a qualified dependent child or dependent relative;
- the value of property given for public or charitable purposes;
- the value of superannuation benefits;
- the value of the proceeds of certain insurance policies to the extent to which
- they are used to pay the tax and/or inheritance tax;
- the value of heritage property subject to certain conditions;
- the value of certain securities where the deceased was resident and domiciled outside the State.
Is there special relief for surviving spouses?
Yes. The tax on property passing absolutely to a spouse is abated to nil. Where the spouse receives a limited (life) interest in property the tax borne by the property is postponed until the death of the surviving spouse. Provided the postponed tax is paid within 9 months of the date of death interest will not be charged.
Note: The Civil Partnership legislation came into effect in 2011 and therefore civil partners are not affected by Probate Tax
Is marginal relief allowed?
Where the taxable value of the estate is below €40,816 (in 1999) the tax payable is the excess of that value over €40,000. Thus in the case of an estate of taxable value of €40,350 the tax will be €350 (instead of 2% of €40,350)
Is there relief where spouses die within a short time of each other?
Yes. This relief exempts property from a second charge to Probate Tax where -
- the property is liable to tax on the death of one spouse, and
- within 5 years the property again becomes liable to tax on the death of the surviving spouse, and
- the surviving spouse leaves a dependent child.
- Where the surviving spouse dies within one year, the dependent child requirement does not apply.
Is there any property not liable to the tax?
Property which does not pass under the deceased’s will or intestacy is excluded from the tax, e.g. joint owner(s) or the proceeds of life policies written in trust.
Property situated outside Ireland is liable to Probate Tax only if the disponer was resident or ordinarily resident in Ireland at the date of death. In the case of foreign domiciled persons this provision is relaxed until 1 December, 2004. Property situated in Ireland at the date of the death, is liable to Probate Tax, irrespective of the domicile or residence of the disponer.
What happens in cases of illiquidity?
When the estate is illiquid the Revenue Commissioners will postpone payment until after the grant has been extracted.
Who is liable for payment of the tax?
The personal representative is primarily liable for payment of the tax. The individual beneficiary has secondary liability.
Where can I get further details?
Further details including the Self Assessment Form P.T.1 (PDF, 67KB) and the Inland Revenue Affidavit may be obtained from
- our website
- Or phone or write to the CAT information office -
Capital Acquisitions Tax,
Central Revenue Information Office,
Telephne: LoCall 1890 20 11 04
Telephone: +353 1 8655000 (calls from outside Ireland)