Probate Tax was introduced by Finance Act 1993 and was subsequently abolished by Finance Act 2001. Probate Tax is charged at the rate of 2% on the estates of persons dying on or after 18 June 1993 and before 6 December 2000. For deaths occurring on or after 18 June 1993 and before 1 December 1999 a charge to Probate Tax arose if the deceased was domiciled in Ireland at his date of death or if his estate included Irish assets. For deaths occurring on or after 1 December 1999 and before 6 December 2000 a charge to Probate Tax arose if the deceased was resident or ordinarily resident in Ireland at his date of death or if his estate included Irish assets. Assets passing otherwise than under the will or intestacy are excluded. Funeral expenses and debts owing by the deceased at the time of death are allowable in arriving at the taxable value.
Exemptions include estates below €50,790 in 2000, property passing absolutely to a surviving spouse, the principal private residence (where there is a surviving spouse or where certain dependent children or relatives succeed), property passing to a charity, heritage property, superannuation benefits, certain government securities, unit trusts and policies taken by foreigners, qualifying insurance policies (to the extent that they are utilised in the payment of probate tax or inheritance tax) and property which has already within one year prior to the death borne probate tax on the death of a predeceased spouse (or within 5 years where there is a dependent child).