Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced during the emergency (summer) Budget earlier this month that the current Inheritance Tax threshold is set to increase from 2017, adding an extra £175,000 allowance per-person on homes left to children or grandchildren.
This figure will be added to the current tax-free threshold of £325,000, for a total per-person, tax-free allowance of £500,000. As both allowances are transferable between your spouse or partner (should you die before your spouse or partner, they will receive your allowance on top of their own), if you choose to pass your home down to your children or grandchildren from 2017 you’ll be able to pass on up to £1 million free from Inheritance Tax.
Speaking at the House of Commons on 8 July, Mr. Osborne said:
“The wish to pass something on to your children is about the most basic, human and natural aspiration there is. Inheritance tax was designed to be paid by the very rich. Yet today there are more families pulled into the inheritance tax net than ever before – and the number is set to double over the next five years. It’s not fair and we will act.”
Tax Rate to Remain
Under the new rules, estates valued between £1-2 million will pay tax at 40 percent over the £1 million mark, or the £500,000 mark for single parents or grandparents if their spouse or partner used their allowance previously, or didn’t pass their unused allowance on to them.
It should be noted that the new £500,000 per-person threshold will ‘taper’ away for estates worth more than £2 million. With that said, should you choose to downsize your home you won’t lose your tax-free allowance from your previous property.
Current Inheritance Tax System
Under the current system, individuals receive a tax-free threshold of £325,000, with spouses and partners being able to combine their allowances. The only difference between the current system and the new one, due to be phased in in 2017, is the new system adds an extra £175,000 allowance per person, thus increasing it to £500,000.
The original £325,000 threshold is fixed until the end of the 2020-21 tax year, after which there is potential for its renegotiation.
In its current form, Britain has some of the strictest Inheritance Tax rates in the developed world, with The Telegraph reporting that a parent splitting their £1 million estate (£800,000 property, £200,000 cash) between two children currently results in a £270,000 tax bill. Under the new system, this bill will reduce to £200,000 in the same scenario, making it lower than the Inheritance Tax paid on an equivalent inheritance in both France and Japan.
More Information on Inheritance Tax Threshold
To speak with a professional accountant to discuss what the new Inheritance Tax threshold means for you, your property, and those you wish to inherit it, contact us today on 020 8780 2349 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.