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Inheritance Tax

Question for Treasury

UIN HL16723, tabled on 26 June 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to scrap the inheritance tax 40 per cent excess policy above an individual's £325,000 allowance.

Answered on

9 July 2019

Inheritance tax makes an important contribution to the health of public finances and the Government has no plans to abolish it.

The rate of inheritance tax is normally 40% on the value of an estate above a nil rate band of £325,000. Any unused nil rate band may be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner, increasing their combined threshold to up to £650,000.

However, the Government recognises that individuals work hard to build up assets with the aim of passing these on to their families. Rising house prices have contributed to more families facing an inheritance tax bill. The Government is addressing this through the phased introduction of the additional £175,000 residence nil rate band. Any unused residence nil rate band may also be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.

Taken together, the combination of the nil rate bands means an individual could pass on up to £500,000 in 2020-21 and the estate of the remaining spouse or civil partner could pass on up to £1 million under certain circumstances in 2020-21. Around 96% of estates are forecast to be able to pass on all their assets without paying any inheritance tax as a result.

In January 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer commissioned the Office of Tax Simplification to review the tax. The first report was published in November 2018 and the second report in July 2019. The Government will consider the recommendations.

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