Inheritance tax useful reliefs

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We have listed below a number of features of Inheritance Tax (IHT) that readers may find useful:

  1.  IHT is payable at 40% on death and 20% on lifetime gifts.
  2. There is a nil rate band, currently £325,000, below which no IHT is payable.
  3. A reduced rate of IHT at 36% applies to estates from 6 April 2012, where 10% or more of a net estate is left to charity.
  4. Any unused nil rate band can be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.
  5. There are a number of lifetime transfers or gifts that are not subject to IHT. (*See list below).
  6. Any gifts to a UK charity during a donor’s lifetime or in their will are exempt from IHT.
  7. Business Relief of 50% or 100% can be claimed on certain business property or assets such as unlisted shares and machinery.
  8. Agricultural property relief, 50% or 100%, can be claimed on farming land, farmhouses, farm worker homes and barns.
  9. Woodland timber qualifies for a special relief from IHT. The value of the timber qualifies not the land.
  10. Certain gifts of national heritage property and important works of art may qualify for relief from IHT.
  11. Any gift made by a donor out of his surplus income is generally exempt from IHT.

*Additionally, an individual can make the following gifts exempt from IHT:

  • Annual gifts out of capital (with one year carry forward if unused) – £3,000
  • Small gifts (per recipient) – £250
  • Parental gift on marriage – £5,000
  • Grandparent or party to marriage – £2,500
  • Other gifts on marriage (per donor) – £1,000

If you have any queries regarding Inheritance Tax or estate planning issues please do give me a call.

Sue Stephens, Personal Tax Consultant