The good news is that the long awaited additional “family home” allowance of £175,000 per person starts to take effect from 6th April 2016. The bad news is that the starting point is only £100,000 and the full allowance will not be available until 2020. Don’t make the mistake of assuming all is therefore well. It isn’t.
Unfortunately all the evidence is that Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) receipts are likely to be higher in the current tax year than ever before. Last year HMRC collected £4.6 billion – up 21% from the previous year. This is no longer a tax just on the very wealthy – it affects more and more hard working families every year.
When we have worked hard, paid taxes and saved all our lives to then be subject to inheritance tax at 40% just seems so unfair.
But for many of us this tax bill is not inevitable. In many cases with some sensible planning the tax bill can be substantially reduced if not totally avoided.
Talking to an experienced estate planner is the best way ahead but here are a few starting tips.
- Make sure your will is up to date. Don’t just use the family solicitor – ask around until you get a firm recommendation for a Wills and Trust specialist.
- Make sure you understand just how effective pension plans are in producing tax effective inheritances and avoiding inheritance tax. If you have not revised your death benefit nomination recently it is unlikely to be as effective as it should be.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of which funds you should be spending first. Reducing pension income and taking withdrawals from your ISA accounts could considerably reduce the IHT bill and increase the net inheritance.
- Take some advice on the use of Trusts. In many cases you can continue to take an income from your investments whilst making sure the capital does not fall into the IHT net.
We have all paid enough tax during our working lives and on our pensions. Surely it makes sense to reduce the final tax bill if that can be done without putting our financial security at risk?
If you, or other members of your family, would like some guidance from someone who is doing his own IHT planning and has more than thirty years financial planning experience just text IHT to 07770 575122 and I will be in touch.
This is never an easy conversation to have with your parents, but all of my experience is that it is a very rewarding experience for everyone once the ice is broken. All that is needed is someone with practical financial and mediation experience to help the process along.
Don’t let the tax man win just because it is a conversation you would prefer to avoid.
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