IHT: know your limit

Newsletter issue - March 2018.

Insurance company Canada Life's annual survey for 2017 has revealed growing confusion over the operation of inheritance tax. According to the survey, more than two thirds of respondents did not know the current level of the inheritance tax nil rate band - among adults over the age of 45 with assets in excess of £325,000, some 70% did not know that the threshold for the standard nil rate band is currently £325,000. This is a significant increase on the 61% shown in the 2016 survey. In addition, 55% of respondents did not know the rate at which assets above their available nil rate band are taxed - this represents an increase of 3% on 2016 figures.

The research found that over a quarter (27%) of those aged 45 or over with enough assets to trigger a potential IHT bill do not have a will, leaving their inheritance plans unclear and meaning their wealth could pass to relatives they did not intend to provide for under intestacy rules.

Another simple and effective estate planning strategy is to gift money to relatives, but just a fifth of respondents had done so - with over half (51%) saying they don't see a need.

One of the main reasons that simple estate planning tools are being ignored by people with enough wealth to benefit from them is a lack of understanding that could easily be rectified by better use of financial advice. However, Canada Life's research found that just 27% of wealthy Brits over the age of 45 have sought professional advice on IHT planning. At the end of January 2018, the Chancellor requested the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out an IHT review, with the view to simplifying the 'particularly complex' system in which it operates.

The review will focus on the technical and administrative issues within IHT, such as the process of submitting returns and paying any tax due, as well as practical issues around routine estate planning and disclosure. It may also look at how current gift rules interact with the wider IHT system, and whether the current framework causes any distortions to taxpayers' decisions surrounding transfers, investments and other relevant transactions. Although there are no changes at present, there are likely to be future reforms in this area. With this in mind, individuals would do well to check their current position on inheritance tax issues and check that adequate provisions are in place.

What our clients say about us...

  • "Paul has provided accountancy services to my company for 2 years now. I can recommend Paul very highly; his skills as an accountant are highly detailed and professional and he is always available to provide advice. One aspect of the way Paul works that I greatly appreciate is a preference to meet face to face when there is a detailed conversation to be had. I personally find this more productive and is a benefit of working with a small accountancy firm that you wouldn't get with the large faceless providers."


  • "I couldn't ask for more from Paul as an Accountant. Paul has been accountant to Work Relief Charity Recruitment for just over a year now and is proving an invaluable asset. Accurate, knowledgeable, flexible with an emphasis on service delivery, I would recommend Paul's services to any organisation looking for an accounts professional."

    Neil Price - Managing Director at Work Relief Charity Recruitment

  • "Paul was a referral from a family member when I started my business 2 years ago. As this was the first time I had ever run my own company I was totally clueless over the financial side of matters and was worried that I may have made mistakes in any of my accounting. I needn't have worried as after enaging Paul for a set monthly fee he was always there on the end of the phone for all sorts of questions I had and no matter how trivial they were Paul gave me all the information I required and more and did an excellent and painless job at the end of my first year! Couldn't ask for any better to be honest. Just two words - hire him!!!"

    Lee Westrap MBCS - Director - Bulldog IT Services

Request a Callback
Please complete our form
to request a callback
Get a Fixed Quote

Competitive fixed quotes
for agreed services

Find out how to Make more, Keep more and Work less

Increase your profit and
reduce tax liabilities

Your Business Size?

Expert advice for your
business size



Booth & Co  |   The Hermitage  |   15a Shenfield Road  |   Brentwood  |   Essex  |   CM15 8AG        Telephone: 01277 224666    |   Email: info@boothandco.co.uk