July 28, 2016

Tens of thousands of families will miss out on IHT reforms

The outcry has come following revelations about the unfortunate families who will miss out on changes because of the time it is taking for officials to implement the changes in relation to the “residence nil rate band”.

A total of 28,000 households who will pay the tax in the two year period from April 2015 will not be able to take advantage of new rules, which are designed to make the system fairer.

The iniquity of the transition from the old system to the new arrangements has led to growing criticism.

This week, Baroness Ros Altmann, until recently the Government’s Pensions Minister, said: “I'm all for a simpler and fairer tax system but the new Inheritance Tax rules seem to add new unfairness and complexity.

“Many families will end up paying significant sums in tax which would not be due if their loved one had just lived a little longer or in a different part of the country where house prices were lower.”

Jonathan Isaby, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Inheritance Tax is a pernicious tax which hits families at the worst possible time.

“It's one of the most hated taxes which raises very little revenue while adding a great deal of complexity to the tax code. Never mind raising the threshold, the Government should abolish the tax immediately.”

Treasury officials have argued that ultimately the reforms on the horizon will deliver improvements for families who had been dragged into IHT by rising house prices.

A spokesman said: “Under the new system, families will have a new £175,000 inheritance tax allowance for their home on top of the existing £325,000 threshold - allowing them to pass £1 million onto their children completely free of Inheritance Tax.”

The new rules are complicated and do not kick in until April 2017.

For legal advice on Inheritance Tax planning contact Tony Millson and Deanna Hurst in Royds’ Private Client team.

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