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Treasury written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax relief measures are available in respect of woodland ownership; and what plans he has for the future of such measures.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

Where inheritance tax would otherwise be due, a specific rule for woodlands allows for the tax to be deferred until the timber is harvested. The deferral only applies to the value of the timber not the land. In addition, a commercial business that is carried on which includes the ownership of woodland may qualify for the general exemption from inheritance tax that is available for business property.

Any profits or gains arising from the occupation of commercial woodland are wholly outside the scope of income tax or corporation tax.

All tax policies are kept under review.

Given the current economic climate, Government policy must reflect the need to reduce the budget deficit. In this context and as stated in the coalition agreement, the Government have agreed that making changes to the personal allowance for income tax should take priority over other tax cuts. Any changes to tax relief measures in respect of woodland ownership will have to be considered with due regard to the Government's priorities of reducing the fiscal deficit and ensuring economic recovery.

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