In the UK, individuals and families who wish to pass on their legacy need to tread very carefully in order to ensure they are not hit with a hefty Inheritance
Tax (IHT) bill.
IHT is levied at a rate of 40 per cent of an estate’s total value on all estates valued at £325,000 or more. This £325,000 threshold is known as the ‘nil
rate band’ and, despite ever-rising wealth across the country, has remained frozen at this amount for several years.
According to up-to-date figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Treasury collected a record £5.3 billion in IHT last year – up 13 per cent on
the amount of IHT brought in the previous year.
Reports continue to emerge suggesting that more and more middle-class families are falling foul of the so-called ‘death tax’, which is why it is now more
important than ever to plan ahead by seeking specialist tax planning advice.
Individuals and families who want to explore ways of mitigating their IHT liability should investigate all of their options in order to determine which
methods of tax planning are most suitable.
One option worth exploring might be the additional residence nil rate band (RNRB). First introduced in April 2017, this is an additional tax-free threshold
families can tap into if they plan on leaving a residential property to their direct lineal descendants in their Wills.
As of 6 April 2018, individuals can pass on an additional £125,000 in property value to children, grandchildren, step children and foster children completely
tax-free using this allowance.
As married couples or those in a civil partnership can combine their allowances, this means that couples can effectively pass on £900,000 worth of property
completely tax-free if they seek appropriate advice to incorporate the RNRB into their Wills.
But there are many other beneficial tax savings available. For example, individuals can reduce the rate at which they will incur IHT on the total value
of their estate by passing a portion of it to a charity when they die.
By leaving 10 per cent of their estate to a charity, individuals will pay IHT at a rate of just 36 per cent as opposed to 40 per cent, for example.
There are a number of ways in which families and individuals can mitigate their eventual IHT liability and it is always worth seeking tailored advice to
determine which methods are most suitable.