September 30, 2015

Finer details of Inheritance Tax changes held up to scrutiny

There was initially a lot of excitement about the news that the threshold for married couples would be rising to £1million, a change that had first been suggested by George Osborne before the financial crash.

When he made the announcement, Mr Osborne said it would end the current situation of the tax being applied to relatively modest family homes.

But analysis of the finer details has led to a number of warnings that some won’t in fact benefit from the new allowance.

Perhaps the most controversial issue is the fact that new rules will only apply to those leaving their estate to children or grandchildren. This has infuriated those without children.

Others have complained that only the main home can qualify for the additional allowance and that the changes are being phased in over a period of several years.

There has also been separate criticism about changes to the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) regulations.

Under proposals, individuals could be required to disclose details of even the most straightforward IHT planning to officials from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Solicitors and accountants have urged ministers to reconsider this requirement and instead retain the system whereby certain types of scheme are covered by DOTAS rules.

For more information on our private client services or the implications of the new Inheritance Tax rules please visit or contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.

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