I've read somewhere that rich people were heavily taxed during World War I and World War II. What was the inheritance tax rate like in the UK at the time?

  • "I've read somewhere...". Please cite your source. This will help people trying to answer your question. Dec 16, 2018 at 3:02
  • I did some research on the internet, and this is what some people have been saying. I have no source in particular, which is why I would like more details about this tax.
    – Ushiromiya
    Dec 16, 2018 at 11:22
  • @LarsBosteen: For my generation at least, OP's presumption I believe to be a widely held belief at least in regards to WW2. I suggest we let this instance go. If it's correct we verify, and if it's incorrect we debunk. Dec 16, 2018 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


This graph illustrates the top inheritance tax rates since 1900 for four major Western governments: U.K., U.S., France, and Germany.

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For the U.K. in regards the two world wars it shows the top rate changing:

  • in 1915 from from 15% to 20% and again in 1919 to 40%;

  • in 1940 from 55% to 65% and again in 1945 to 75%

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