In economics, a duty is a kind of tax levied by a state. It is often associated with customs, in which context they are also known as tariffs or dues. The term is often used to describe a tax on certain items purchased abroad. Properly, a duty differs from a tax in being levied on specific commodities, financial transactions, estates, etc. rather than on individuals. Duties may be import duties, excise duties, stamp duties, death or succession duties, etc.; but not such direct impositions as personal income taxes.
An estate duty (or inheritance tax) is a tax levied on the estate of a deceased person in many jurisdictions or on the inheritance of a person. The tax is sometimes referred to, formally or informally, as a death duty. Often, the rate of the duty is similar to a gift duty.
- O'Sullivan, Arthur; Sheffrin, Steven M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 450. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.
- UK National Archive, Looking for records of death duties 1796-1903(example of use of the term death duty)