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Demystifying Inheritance Tax in Ireland: Rules and Calculations

Inheritance tax, often referred to as Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) in Ireland, is a topic that can be complex and daunting for many individuals and families. Understanding the rules and calculations associated with inheritance tax is crucial for effective financial planning, especially when it comes to preserving your assets for future generations. In this blog, we will break down the inheritance tax rules in Ireland and provide examples to help you grasp how it is calculated.


Inheritance Tax Thresholds

Before delving into the calculations, it’s important to know the key inheritance tax thresholds in Ireland. As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, here are the thresholds for different groups:

  1. Group A: Transfers between spouses or civil partners – Tax-Free Threshold: €335,000
  2. Group B: Transfers between parents and children, including stepchildren and adopted children  – Tax-Free Threshold: €32,500
  3. Group C: Transfers between other relatives – Tax-Free Threshold: €16,250


Calculating Inheritance Tax

In Ireland, inheritance tax is calculated based on the value of the assets you inherit and the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary. The tax rate applied to the value of the inheritance depends on the group classification mentioned earlier.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to calculating inheritance tax:

Step 1: Determine the Market Value of the Inheritance: The first step is to calculate the total market value of the assets you inherit. This includes any property, cash, investments, and other assets.

Step 2: Calculate Taxable Inheritance: To determine the taxable inheritance, subtract any allowable deductions from the market value of the inheritance. Allowable deductions may include funeral expenses, debts, and certain costs associated with the transfer.

Step 3: Apply the Appropriate Tax Rate: Once you have the taxable inheritance amount, you will apply the relevant tax rate based on the group classification:

– Group A: 33%

– Group B: 33%

– Group C: 33%

Step 4: Calculate the Inheritance Tax Due: Multiply the taxable inheritance amount by the applicable tax rate to determine the inheritance tax due.


Example 1: Group A Inheritance

Let’s say you inherit assets with a total market value of €500,000 from your spouse or civil partner.

Taxable Inheritance: €500,000 – €335,000 (tax-free threshold) = €165,000

Inheritance Tax Due: €165,000 x 33% = €54,450

In this case, you would owe €54,450 in inheritance tax.


Example 2: Group B Inheritance

Suppose you receive an inheritance of €200,000 from your parent.

Taxable Inheritance: €200,000 – €32,500 (tax-free threshold) = €167,500

Inheritance Tax Due: €167,500 x 33% = €55,275

For Group B, the inheritance tax due would be €55,275.


Annual Gift Exemption: An Additional Tax Planning Tool

In addition to understanding inheritance tax, individuals in Ireland can also benefit from the Annual Gift Exemption, a valuable tax planning tool. This exemption allows individuals to gift a certain amount of money or assets each year without incurring gift tax. As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the Annual Gift Exemption amount was €3,000 per donor per recipient. This means that you can gift up to €3,000 to each person, tax-free, every year. It’s an excellent strategy for reducing the taxable value of your estate over time while providing financial support to loved ones. Keep in mind that this exemption amount may change over time, so it’s essential to stay informed about the current limits and any updates to tax laws in Ireland. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you make the most of this valuable tax planning tool while staying compliant with the latest regulations.


Inheritance tax in Ireland can be a significant financial consideration, and understanding the rules and calculations is essential for effective estate planning. Keep in mind that tax laws can change, and it’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to ensure you’re up to date and making informed decisions to manage your estate efficiently.


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