In England and Wales Inheritance tax is charged on all your assets worldwide including property both in the UK and abroad, savings, investments, motor cars, household goods and chattels such as jewellery. It is charged on everything you own less any debts you have.
In very basic terms everyone gets an Inheritance Tax allowance of £325,000 each. This known as your “Nil Rate Band” because the first band (from zero up to £325,000 is taxed at Nil%. As a general rule If you have children and are leaving your estate to your bloodline you also receive an additional Residential Nil Rate Band “RNRB”.
The RNRB is currently £100,000 at the moment but will go up by £25,000 per person until tax year 2020/21 when it will be £175,000 per person to £500,000 per person and £1million for a married couple. To qualify for the full RNRB you house will need to be worth at least £350,000 in 2020/21.
How much can you pass on?
What advice we can offer
We are taxation specialists in our own right, and we work with a network of specialist third parties including financial advisers, wealth planners, and chartered tax advisers.
Inheritance Tax is the easiest tax to avoid and Inheritance Tax planning covers a multitude of potential ways of mitigating or completely avoiding Inheritance Tax from:
Gifting assets, but once gifted then you have no right to get them back if you need them in the future.
Numerous trust strategies
Insuring your life and making sure the proceed; likely to be the most expensive solution
Different Inheritance Tax planning strategies take different amounts of time to fall outside of taxable estate and become effective for planning purposes:
Small gifts of up to £3,000 to one person per annum and as many gifts of £500 as you like can be made. There are also allowable gifts for children and grandchildren on marriage. You can also make gifts surplus income, but the rules are complicated and change regularly so advise should be sought from a specialist adviser. Corporate Trusts normally fall outside of your estate immediately but HMRC may challenge these structures for Inheritance Tax planning in the future and specialist advise must be taken.
Some business and other assets may qualify for Business Property Relief once the shares / assets have been held for two years. For a married couple the qualifying period starts when the shares are purchased and any transfer to a spouse, e.g. on death, does not restart the two-year clock.
Any major form of gifting of savings, investments or property to either individuals, or into trust, where you do not retain any benefit from the asset will be a Potentially Exempt Transfer. It is potentially exempt because the gift will only fall outside of your taxable estate after 7 years. This is n=known as the 7-year rule and is only relevant to Inheritance tax and not to care fees. Click here for more information on mitigating care fees.