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Forestry Commission: Land

Treasury written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) what estimate he has made of the likely level of net accruals to the Exchequer arising from the sale of Forestry Commission land accounting for (a) income tax, (b) capital gains tax and (c) inheritance tax forgone through such sales during the comprehensive spending review period;

(2) if he will estimate the cost to the Exchequer of tax relief on the purchase and ownership of woodland and forests in each of the (a) last and (b) next four financial years.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

An estimate of accrued income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax foregone from the sale of Forestry Commission land is not available.

The main inheritance tax reliefs for woodland and forests are business property relief and woodlands relief. Business property relief has been estimated to cost £205 million in 2010-11, but this is a wide ranging relief and the cost in relation to woodland and forests is not available. The cost of woodlands relief in 2010-11 has been estimated to be negligible (less than £5 million). Published estimates of the costs of business property relief and woodlands relief can be found in HMRC's published Ready Reckoner tables at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_expenditures/table1-5.pdf and

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_expenditures/table-b1.pdf respectively. Estimates for later years are not available.

Estimates of the cost to the Exchequer of tax reliefs for other taxes are not available.

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