IHT – time for a refresh?
Latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed IHT receipts for April 2021 to March 2022 were £6.1bn, 14% (£0.7bn) higher than in the same period 12 months earlier.
Factors at play
Receipts have increased partly due to higher death rates during the pandemic, as well as due to the rise in property prices which has seen more families coming into scope for IHT. With thresholds frozen at current levels – the nil-rate band is £325,000 and the main residence nil-rate band is £175,000 – IHT is effectively a stealth tax.
IHT top tips
Gifts – use your £3,000 annual allowance before the end of each tax year. You can also make gifts of up to £250 per person per tax year
Trusts – for example putting money into a trust to pay for a grandchild’s education or to support another relative
Make a Will – and keep it up to date
Leave money to charity – if you leave at least 10% of your net estate to charity, the IHT rate reduces from 40% to 36%
Take out life assurance – this won’t reduce your estate but instead provides a lump sum to your beneficiaries to pay the IHT bill. The policy should be written under a suitable trust
Take advice – sensible IHT planning can help to reduce the amount of IHT your beneficiaries will have to pay and safeguard your wealth for the future.
The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.