New data from HMRC show that in 2022/23 inheritance tax (IHT) payments hit a new high.
The IHT nil rate band was set at £325,000 in April 2009 and has been frozen ever since. This year’s Budget extended that freeze to April 2028. For the first year of the nil rate band in 2009/10, IHT receipts amounted to around £2.4 billion. Figures recently released for 2022/23 show receipts at just over £7 billion in the fourteenth year of the freeze.
IHT has become a tax which now potentially affects many more people, particularly after a surviving spouse or civil partner dies. On the first death there is normally no tax to pay, so it is often the children or grandchildren who experience first-hand the full impact of IHT.
Mitigating the freeze
If you want to limit the Treasury’s share of your estate, the sooner you start planning, the better. Unfortunately, one of the simplest strategies – making substantial lifetime gifts – is often not a practical option.
However, there are other routes to lowering the IHT bill on your estate, including:
- Make the most of pensions
Although the primary role of pension arrangements is to provide income in retirement, legislative changes have turned pensions into a valuable estate planning tool.
- Use the normal expenditure exemption
If you make gifts that are regular, out of normal income and that do not reduce your standard of living, then they are free of IHT.
- Make a will and, if you already have one, keep it up to date
The right will can not only help save IHT, but also means that you choose your beneficiaries rather than the arbitrary rules of intestacy.
- Skip a generation
By passing money directly to your grandchildren, you could reduce the IHT on your children’s estate.
IHT planning is best considered as part of your overall financial planning, rather than in isolation. Professional advice is essential to navigate the complexities of the legislation.
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Important Information/Risk Warnings
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