Estate Duty Act
- Commenced on 19 February 1946
- [This is the version of this document as it was at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Estate Duty Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“Commissioners” means the Estate Duty Commissioners;“deceased person” and “the deceased” means a person dying after the commencement of this Act;“estate duty” means estate duty under this Act;“estate duty affidavit” means an affidavit made or required under this Act and shall include any inventory or account of property with or without a valuation thereof with reference to which such an affidavit is made or required;“executor” means the executor or administrator of a deceased person and includes, as regards any obligations under this Act, any person who takes possession of or intermeddles with the property of a deceased person;“incumbrances” includes mortgages and terminable charges;“property” includes immovable and real property and movable and personal property and the proceeds of sale thereof respectively and any money or investment for the time being representing the proceeds of sale, and an undivided share in any property held jointly or in common with any other person;“representation” means probate, letters of administration, confirmation, or other instrument appointing a person the executor, administrator, or other representative of the deceased or to administer any of his assets.
3. Constitution of Board of Commissioners
Charge of estate duty
4. Charge of estate dutyIn the case of every person dying after the commencement of this Act, there shall, save as hereinafter mentioned, be levied and paid to the Government upon the principal value of all property belonging to the deceased at his death (in this Act referred to as the “estate of the deceased”) a duty, called “estate duty”, at the graduated rates set forth in the Schedule.
5. What property is included in an estate
6. Interest on estate duty
Exemptions from estate duty
7. Power to remit estate duty where death is caused by operations of warWhere—
8. Remission of estate duty in case of property passing more than once owing to deaths caused by operations of war
9. Reduction of rate for quick successionsWhere the Commissioners are satisfied that estate duty has become payable on any property consisting of land or a business (not being a business carried on by a company) or any interest in land or such a business, and that subsequently estate duty has again become payable on the same property or any part thereof by reason of the death of the person to whom the property passed on the first death, the amount of estate duty payable on that property by reason of the second death shall be reduced as follows—where the second death occurs within one year of the first death, by fifty per centum;where the second death occurs within two years of the first death, by forty per centum;where the second death occurs within three years of the first death, by thirty per centum;where the second death occurs within four years of the first death, by twenty per centum;Where the second death occurs within five years of the first death, by ten per centum:Provided that where the value, on which the duty is payable, of the property on the second death exceeds the value, on which the duty was payable, of the property on the first death, the latter value shall be substituted for the former for the purpose of calculating the amount of duty on which the reduction under this section is to be calculated.
Aggregation of estate
10. Aggregation of deceased’s property to determine rate of duty
Principles for determining value of estate
11. Principles for determining value of estate
12. Allowance for debts
Liabilities of executors or beneficiaries
13. Executor to ascertain value of estate, and to make affidavit
14. Duty to be paid on delivery of estate duty affidavit
15. Liability of executor for dutyThe executor-of the deceased shall be liable for all estate duty payable in respect of the estate of the deceased but his liability shall not exceed the assets which he has received as executor or might but for his own neglect or default have received.
16. Liability of beneficiaries and trusteesEvery, beneficiary of the estate of the deceased up to the amount of his interest in the estate, and also to the extent of the property actually received or disposed of by him, every trustee, guardian, committee, or other person in whom any interest in the estate of the deceased or the management thereof is at any time vested, and every person who takes possession of or administers any part of the estate of the deceased, and every person in whom the same is vested by alienation or other derivative title shall each be liable for all the estate duty payable on the estate of the deceased:Provided that nothing in this section shall render a person accountable for duty who acts merely as agent or bailiff for another person in the management of property.
17. Estate duty when deemed to be in arrearExcept as hereinafter mentioned, the whole estate duty payable on the estate of the deceased shall be due and payable at the end of six months from the death of the deceased or on the delivery of the original estate duty affidavit, whichever first occurs, and any estate duty which is not so paid shall be deemed to be duty in arrear and recoverable accordingly.
18. Power to permit postponement of paymentWhere the Commissioners are satisfied that any estate duty cannot without excessive sacrifice be raised at once, they may allow payment to be postponed for such period, to such extent, and on payment of such interest, and on such terms as the Commissioners think fit.
19. Power for person liable to raise duty by sale or mortgageAny person liable for and required to pay estate duty on any part of the estate of the deceased shall have power, whether the estate is or is not vested in him, to raise the amount of such duty and expenses incurred by him in connexion therewith by sale or mortgage of that part of the estate of the deceased.
20. Estate duty to be borne by beneficiaries rateably
21. Executors and persons having possession of estate to produce documents and attend for examination if required
Valuation and assessment by Commissioners
22. Valuation by Commissioners
23. Assessment by Commissioners
24. Refund of overpaid dutyWhere it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners that too much estate duty has been paid, the excess shall be repaid by them.
Appeals against assessments, etc., of Commissioners
25. Appeals against assessments, etc.
Recovery of estate duty
26. Recovery of estate duty by civil suitEstate duty in arrear shall be recoverable by civil suit as a debt due to the Government from any person liable.
27. Summary recovery of estate dutyEstate duty in arrear may, on the ex parte application of the Commissioners to any competent court and without the institution of a suit, be recovered from the executor in manner following—
28. Stay of execution pending appealWhere, in any proceedings for the recovery of estate duty or for the discharge of an order for payment of estate duty, it appears that an appeal against the assessment is pending or that the time for so appealing has not yet elapsed, the court may, if it thinks fit, grant a stay of execution for such period and on such terms as it thinks just.
29. Estate duty a charge on deceased’s estate
Certificates of discharge and compositions
30. Certificate of discharge from estate duty
31. Power to accept composition for estate duty
Fixed duty on small estates
32. Option to pay fixed duties on estates not exceeding £500
33. No grant of representation to be made without certificate of Commissioners
34. Duty of court administering estate to direct payment of dutyWhere any part of the estate of the deceased is administered by any court, it shall be the duty of the court to give directions for the due payment of all unpaid estate duty payable on the estate of the deceased.
35. Service of noticesWhere notice of any act, decision, requirement, valuation, or assessment of or by the Commissioners is by this Act required or authorized to be served on or given to any person, the notice shall be sufficient if it records the substance of that act, decision, requirement, valuation or assessment and is signed by the secretary to the Commissioners or by any Commissioner, and shall be sufficiently served if it is left at the last known place of abode or business in Malawi of the person to be served, or if it is sent by post in a registered letter addressed to him by name at his last known place of abode or business, and if that letter is not returned through the post office undelivered; and service by post shall be deemed to be made at the time at which the registered letter would in the ordinary course be delivered.
36. Proof of Commissioners’ actsAny document purporting to record, contain, or be any act, decision, requirement, notice, valuation, or assessment of or by the Commissioners and purporting to be signed by one Commissioner or by the secretary to the Commissioners, shall be received in evidence without proof, and shall be prima facie evidence of that act, decision, requirement, notice, valuation, or assessment.
37. Affidavit to be free of stamp dutyEvery estate duty and other affidavit required to be made by this Act shall be free of stamp duty.
38. Exception as to property in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries
39. Arrangements for relief from double estate duty
40. Power to make RegulationsThe Minister may mate Regulations for carrying this Act into effect, and in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, prescribing—
41. General penalty
History of this document
19 February 1946