Death of inheritance tax?

Dominic Thomas
Oct 2023  •  3 min read

Death of inheritance tax?

There are a number of elections around the world – the pontifications, point-scoring, own goals and blotted copybooks are all about to garner increased scrutiny. Whispers of good news into ears in attempts to win over voters. The next UK election has to be held by 28th January 2025 and we all tend to suspect that the current bunch will continue to attempt to restore a modicum of decency and sound policy before announcing one.

The rumours of the death of inheritance tax appear to have gained some traction, this is of course all largely leaked hearsay, or in other words think tank testing popular opinion. The conundrum of taxes is simply that we all know that they are needed, but few of us can see that the money is used wisely. Some of our fellow humans seem to enjoy paying tax, able to clearly see the collective value in how, what and why it is deployed. Here in the UK, we may get a standardised pie chart of where it went, but the numbers are invariably so vast that they have very little connection with us.

Inheritance tax is one of the most loathed taxes. This is probably because most of us (the middle classes) have earned income, which has already been taxed. Savings or investments, entrepreneurial or retail have had taxes applied, albeit with some allowances granted. IHT is a bit like being given a tax bill again, once you have done all the sensible things and have something left to leave your family or beneficiaries.

A tax rate of 40% also seems fairly high (by tax rate standards) much higher than capital gains taxes and higher than most people pay as income tax. It was seven Chancellors ago when a certain George Osborne who last messed around with IHT, adding an allowance for those who had a home and children to inherit it. The Main Residence Relief was ushered into existence from 6th April 2017, now granting an extra £175,000 of exemption (in addition to the £325,000 nil rate band that everyone gets). It would be too easy to have simply increased the latter to £500,000, instead, this is the making of the Humphrey Appleby’s where what you appear to have can be withdrawn in the wrong or right circumstances, depending how you count and what you count.

So the latest whispers of the abolition of inheritance tax, garner a keen ear and of course the intention is that those convert into votes. Taxes as bribes? It was ever thus. IHT has been raising substantial sums for HMRC over the years and each year the sums tend to increase. The latest data April to August 2023 showed IHT receipts of £3.2bn, up £0.3bn. In the tax year ending 2022-23 £7.1bn of the total £786.69bn HMRC received from all sources. I make that about 1% in round numbers.

Combined with this potential good news is a classic ‘Humphreyism’ in that the current inheritance tax exemption on pension funds may be … well, challenged. There already are possible taxes, depending on how conveniently you can arrange your death before age 75 or how the money is taken. However, this appears to be within the range of the ministry of misinformation and may well be that classic case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

We will keep you posted with facts as they arise, assuming they are clearly disclosed by Humphrey and his chums.

For the record:

Osborne, Hammond, Javid, Sunak, Zahawi, Kwarteng, Hunt.

Death of inheritance tax?2023-12-04T12:14:36+00:00

GIVING AND INHERITANCE TAX 2021/22

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GIVING AND INHERITANCE TAX

Part of your tax year end planning may involve making some gifts that help reduce the value of your estate with the knock-on effect of reducing inheritance tax (hopefully a long time in the future though… right?!).

Anyway, the uncertainty that Capital Gains Tax faced last year was mirrored by IHT (inheritance tax). That too had been subject to a review by the OTS (Office of Tax Simplification … yes it does sound like something from a Peter Sellers sketch) commissioned in January 2018, which had seemingly got lost in the Chancellor’s in-tray. Thankfully, after nearly four years, the end of November 2021 saw a statement confirming that there would be only one administrative change to IHT (first announced in March 2021), easing the paperwork burden for many executors. IHT year end planning is, thus, also business as usual, meaning that you should consider using the three main IHT annual exemptions:

THE ANNUAL EXEMPTION

Each tax year you can give away £3,000 free of IHT. If you did not use all the exemption in 2020/21, you can carry forward the unused element to this year (and no further), but it can only be used after you have used the current tax year’s exemption. For example, if you made no gifts in 2020/21, and you gift £4,000 in 2021/22, you will be treated as having used your full 2021/22 exemption and £1,000 from the previous tax year.

THE SMALL GIFTS EXEMPTION

You can give up to £250 outright per tax year free of IHT to as many people as you wish, so long as they do not receive any part of the £3,000 exemption.

THE NORMAL EXPENDITURE EXEMPTION

The normal expenditure exemption is potentially the most valuable of the yearly IHT exemptions and one which the OTS wanted to replace. Under the exemption, any gift – regardless of size – escapes IHT provided that:

  • you make it regularly;
  • it is made from your income (including ISA income, but excluding investment bond and other capital withdrawals); and
  • the sum gifted does not reduce your standard of living.

This last exemption is not easy to prove. It would help your Executors and therefore your beneficiaries if you follow our guidance and requests to update your income and spending each year. Honestly, we don’t do these things to simply get you to complete forms – there is a logic and it’s all for your benefit (we do appreciate that it is a pain!). You can do this using our spending plan or simply update the information on the portal. If I have worked on your plan recently, the figures there also need to be checked. Basically we need to evidence your spending – or rather your executors will.

ANNUAL IHT GIVING

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GIVING AND INHERITANCE TAX 2021/222023-12-01T12:12:54+00:00

TAXING YOUR HOME

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TAXING YOUR HOME

Most people believe that inheritance tax is one of the most unfair taxes. I understand the frustration, but for me its way down the list. Inheritance tax is not a tax you are likely to pay unless you have received a significant sum from a relative.

For me, Stamp duty is one of the most regressive taxes. Often overlooked by house buyers and almost always forgotten about by those that hold property portfolios. It’s a tax on getting on, staying on or moving along the property ladder. Literally nothing of significance done by a government employee and nothing at all done by HMRC or the Government.

OK, sure we need to take taxes somehow to fund a decent, functional society, but I have little comprehension of the obsession in taxing someone’s home, unless of course you believe that we are all really serfs working for our masters and that land taxes keep us all firmly in our places, outside the walls of landed estates.  Of course if you were properly rich, your home would belong to a Trust – silly you.

Anyway, as predicted, the Stamp Duty holiday has led to a significant fall in the number of people paying this tax over the last quarter, according to the latest HMRC figures. HMRC figures shows the number of property transactions subject to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) were 10% lower in Q4 2021, when compared to the previous three months (Q3 2021). These transactions were also 13% lower than Q4 2020.  This SDLT holiday was phased out between 30 June and 30 September last year. HMRC says this caused a substantial rise in the number of transactions being completed earlier in the year, with home buyers keen to avoid paying additional stamp tax charges. Since this tax break started to be phased out, HMRC says there has been a fall in transaction over the last two quarters. Residential property transaction in Q4 2021 were 12% lower than Q3 in 2021 and 15% lower than in Q4 2020. Over the same period non-residential property transactions were 10% higher than both Q3 2021 and Q4 2020.

AS SAFE AS HOUSES – THE SURE THING?

And guess what…. As predicted (or more accurately, as repeated from history) house prices rose to record highs. The average price of a home rose by 9.7% compared with a year earlier, gaining £24,500 to £276,759. However, monthly growth rose by 0.3%, down from 1.1% in December and the smallest monthly rate of increase since June 2021.

Many commentators expect the housing market to cool “considerably” this year as Britons are confronted by a cost-of-living squeeze. The Bank of England raised interest rates to 0.5% to curb inflation that it expects to rise above 7% in April. It forecast that rising energy costs and goods prices would lead to a 2% drop in people’s net income after inflation this year — the biggest hit to real incomes since comparable records began in 1990. About 22 million households will have to pay 54% more for their electricity and gas supplies from April 1, when the energy price cap rises to around £2,000. The Bank also predicted that growth in Britain’s GDP would slow. However, while commentators believe house price growth will cool this year, they did not expect prices to fall significantly.

Unplanned savings built up during the pandemic will go some way to offsetting the income squeeze. And with around 80% of UK mortgage debt at fixed rates, most mortgage-holders are well insulated from short-term increases. Furthermore, more stringent affordability criteria and mortgage regulation introduced during the 2010s means that recent buyers should be better placed to cope with higher mortgage rates than in the past.

Nobody sane thinks property is worth the prices being charged. I don’t do predictions and I don’t bet. You have been warned though (so take comfort that I am nearly always wrong about property prices).

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

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TAXING YOUR HOME2023-12-01T12:12:55+00:00

INHERITANCE TAX IS EASY MONEY FOR HMRC

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INHERITANCE TAX IS EASY MONEY FOR HMRC

Few weekends go by without one of the main newspapers doing a story on inheritance tax. I imagine that is because inheritance tax is often cited as the most loathed tax. The general view being that Government gets taxes whilst you are alive and the final indignity is to take more upon death. A 2015 YouGov report indicated its unpopularity.

If you have been reading any of my blogs over the years, you will know that I am rather sceptical of surveys and their results being understood to represent an entire population. The survey in question had a sample size of 1,975 adults. Not enormous out of a population of 66million. There are all sorts of problems with sampling data – but I digress, it is from my anecdotal experience of 3 decades, unpopular.

In March, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) projected 15% growth in inheritance tax (IHT) receipts from £5.2bn in 2020/21 to £6bn for 2021/22. They projected this sum to rise to £7.1bn in IHT receipts in 2024/25, after allowing for indexation of the bands which had been due to start in April 2021.

Frozen IHT

FROZEN – LET IT GO?

As you know, (page 12 of our client magazine Spotlight) the Chancellor elected to freeze all allowances in the last Budget. At the time, due in part to lower house prices the reprojection was £1bn less by 2024/25. However, it is clear that house prices have continued to defy logic by rising.  If the rise in IHT receipts continue at the same rate as that experienced over April, May and June this year the 2021 total yield will likely exceed £6bn, rather more than anticipated (easy money eh?).

It’s always surprising that only around 25,000 estates bear IHT each year, but this year it could exceed 30,000. The nil rate bands (£325,0000) frozen until the end of 2025/26, then, unless values fall materially, this trajectory will continue.

And while on the subject of IHT, let’s not forget:

  • There are two Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) reports on IHT reform that have, substantially, not been acted upon by the Government
  • There have been a number of calls for wider reform of IHT from the likes of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inheritance and Intergenerational Fairness.
  • A 2015 YouGov report found that IHT was the most disliked of all the personal taxes

If you are married (or are a widow/er), own your own home and have children, your nil rate band may well be £1m. However, if your estate is too large the additional main residence relief is reduced potentially to nothing.

If you are single and have no children, HMRC treat you as worthy of no favours, you have the standard nil rate band of £325,000 and no more.

SOLUTIONS? CLICK HERE!

Of course! there are solutions that may be helpful to you – so get in touch.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

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INHERITANCE TAX IS EASY MONEY FOR HMRC2023-12-01T12:12:57+00:00

THE AUTUMN BUDGET 2021

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THE AUTUMN BUDGET 2021

In terms of your personal finance, not a lot has changed. Indeed, most of the announcements merely confirmed previous announcements, such is the way of our politicians. As a reminder, the next tax year begins on 6th April 2022. The main changes for most are really for those that receive dividends or pay National Insurance

iNCOME TAX RATE ON DIVIDENDS 2022/23 2021/22 (NOW)
Basic rate taxpayer 8.75% 7.50%
Higher rate taxpayer 33.75% 32.50%
Additional rate taxpayer 39.45% 38.10%
Rate for Trusts 39.35% 38.10%

National Insurance for employers increases from 13.8% to 15.05% which basically makes it more expensive to employ people. Employees will also pay rather more at the main rate, rising from 12% to 13.25% and then at the upper or higher rate increased from 2% to 3.25%. Remember the thing about National Insurance is that there is a threshold for the main rate after which you simply pay a flat, reduced rate (currently 2% but increasing to 3.25%). The self-employed main rate increases from 9% to 10.25%. Self-employed people do not fully enjoy the same benefits for their NI payments.

MAIN ALLOWANCES

For those of you using your pensions, the annual allowance remains at £40,000 but if you have begun drawing income from investment-based pensions it is restricted to £4,000 the delightfully named “Money Purchase Annual Allowance” or MPAA. The Lifetime Allowance (the total value of your pensions permitted before excess charges) remains frozen as previously indicated at £1,073,100. This is equivalent to a pension income of £53,655.

ISA and JISA limits remain as they were (£20,000 and £9,000) which are fairly substantial allowances but indicate a “kick the can down the road” policy of Government worrying about tax in the future. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowances and rates remain as they are (which is daft).

If you own a second property or inherit one, the capital gains rate and requirement for payment are important to understand. However, one small improvement is that you now have 60 days to pay the liability rather than 30 (with immediate effect). I imagine one of Rishi’s friends was offloading and was worried about an extra charge (surely not!).

As for inheritance, the nil rate remains at £325,000 per person and those with children inheriting the family home the residential nil rate band adds a further £175,000. However, this is tapered when an estate is worth more than £2m.

In short, for all the bluff and thunder and 200 pages, not much is in it for you and I. Remember – death and taxes.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

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THE AUTUMN BUDGET 20212023-12-01T12:13:01+00:00

TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING

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TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING – OVERVIEW

It probably goes without saying, but the tax year end is something that we are always mindful of. There has already been a lot of coverage in the media about what the Chancellor might do. We get to find out on 3rd March 2021. The reality is that due to the pandemic and enormous spending by the Government (and some very expensive contracts awarded to Conservative party donors), there is a obvious pressure to refill the public purse.

Last year, Autumn arrived without an Autumn Budget. To be fair, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, had already presented one 2020 Budget – in March – and the pandemic made forecasting for 2021/22 all but impossible. The result was that, for the second year running, the Budget was deferred to the Spring. Whether Mr Sunak’s reading of the economic runes will prove any easier on 3 March 2021 is a moot point.

It is equally difficult to assess what the Chancellor might do in his second Budget. On the one hand, he will be ending the current financial year with a record-breaking government deficit of around £400bn. On the other hand, he will be wary of trying to fill the large black hole with the near inevitable tax increases until an economic recovery is well under way. It could be one of those Budgets where the bad news is announced but has a deferred start date or is, at least initially, targeted at the more affluent.

Every year there is speculation about tax relief reducing or ending. Every year. Every year I largely ignore the speculation. However this year, to be blunt, the changes to taxes are more likely than any in the last 3 decades. There are some things that we can consider together. In truth as the Budget is 3rd March, time is against us. Whilst normally we expect Budget announcements to forewarn of rules for the following April, George Osborne was one of the few Chancellors to initiate immediate pension changes. You have been warned. As the tax year end is on the Easter Bank Holiday, the reality is that the last week of March is really your deadline. If you make allowance for slow post, many working from home, the normal efficiency of a tax year end is arguably “not as normal”… so the sooner you take action on anything important the better.

GET TUIT TAX YEAR END PLANNING SOLOMONS IFA

PENSIONS

A change in the personal tax relief on pension contributions from marginal income tax rates to a single flat rate is a regular pre-Budget rumour. That could mean a cut from a maximum rate of relief of 45% (46% in Scotland) to perhaps a flat rate of 20%-25%. Higher and additional rate taxpayers would thus lose out.

Depending upon where the Treasury pitched the flat rate, it could save billions while making most pension contributors – basic rate taxpayers – better off or at worst unaffected. Even without the revenue benefit, the result has a clear appeal to a government that regularly talks of ‘levelling up’.

Last year Mr Sunak increased the cost of pension tax relief by adding £90,000 to the two income thresholds that govern the tapering of the annual allowance. That could mean in 2020/21 you have an opportunity to make a higher contribution than in previous tax years. In any case, it is worth checking whether you have scope to take advantage of unused annual allowances from the past three years (back to 2017/18) at current rates of tax relief.

ISAs – INDIVIDUAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Plans to put a cap on ISAs were reportedly considered by the Treasury in 2013, an idea that was recently revised by the Resolution Foundation in a paper examining ways to repair public finances. As with reforming pension contribution relief, the main impact would be on those who pay tax at more than the basic rate. For most basic rate taxpayers, the combined effect of the personal savings allowance, dividend allowance and CGT annual exemption is to render ISAs of little relevance.

If you pay tax at more than the basic rate, all types of ISA offer a quartet of tax benefits:

  • Interest earned on cash or fixed interest securities is free of UK income tax.
  • Dividends are also free of UK income tax.
  • Capital gains are free of UK capital gains tax (CGT).
  • ISA income and gains do not have to be reported on your tax return.

In addition, if you are eligible, the Lifetime ISA (which the Resolution Foundation said should be scrapped) gives a 25% government top-up on contributions.  The overall total contribution limit for ISAs has been frozen since April 2017 at £20,000 (of which the Lifetime ISA ceiling is £4,000). However, the limit for Junior ISAs was more than doubled to £9,000 in last year’s Budget.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

In July 2020,Rishi Sunak asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The request came out of the blue but arrived at a time when increasing the CGT tax take was being discussed by several think tanks. It had also been proposed in the 2019 Election manifestos of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Sunak would not be the first Chancellor to ‘borrow’ money-raising ideas from the Opposition.

The OTS published the first of what will be two reports on CGT reform in November. Its suggestions included:

  • ‘More closely aligning Capital Gains Tax rates with Income Tax rates’, which could mean more than a doubling of the current tax rates in some instances.
  • Reducing the level of the annual exemption from the current £12,300 to an ‘administrative de minimis’ of between £2,000 and £4,000.
  • Removing the rule which gives a capital gains tax uplift on death. As a result, if you inherited an asset its base value for CGT purposes would be that of the deceased, not the value at the date of death.

That trio of measures, which could be introduced with immediate effect on 3 March, is a good reason to review the unrealised gains in your investments as soon as possible. Although it is no longer possible to sell holdings one day and buy them back the next to crystallise capital gains, there are options which can achieve a similar effect, such as making the reinvestment via an ISA or a pension.

INHERITANCE TAX

A report on CGT is not the only OTS document on capital taxes occupying the Chancellor’s in tray. On taking over the job last February, he inherited a pair of reports on Inheritance Tax (IHT) which had been commissioned by Philip Hammond. These had been expected to feed through into last year’s Spring Budget. They may still do so in the forthcoming Budget, possibly alongside – and complimentary to – CGT reforms. The consequence could be a radical restructuring of capital taxation.

Ahead you should consider using the three main IHT annual exemptions:

1.    The Annual Exemption Each tax year you can give away £3,000 free of IHT. If you do not use all of the exemption in one year, you can carry forward the unused element, but only to the following tax year, when it can only be used after that year’s exemption has been exhausted.

2.    The Small Gifts Exemption You can give up to £250 outright per tax year free of IHT to as many people as you wish, so long as they do not receive any part of the £3,000 exemption.

3.    The Normal Expenditure Exemption  The normal expenditure exemption is potentially the most valuable of the yearly IHT exemptions and one most likely to be reformed. Currently, any gift is exempt from IHT provided that:

a.     you make it regularly;

b.    it is made out of income (including ISA income); and

c.    it does not reduce your standard of living.

If you have the surplus capital available, you should also think about making large lifetime gifts. This could include gifting investments, thereby also using your CGT annual exemption. One of the OTS reform suggestions was the abolition of the normal expenditure rule and the introduction of an annual limit of IHT-free lifetime gifts.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

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TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING2023-12-01T12:13:10+00:00

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

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THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

In order to save you time, I watched the Budget and even had a neat little animated logo designed for the occasion. Prior to the Budget I had hopes of some significant pension reforms – to simplify pensions whilst also hoping for the possibility of a fairer tax system, which means different things to different people – I would probably settle for a more straight-forward one.

In fairness to Rishi Sunak, becoming Chancellor when he did must have felt rather like a “hospital pass”. By which I mean a term used in rugby, where you are passed the ball so that you are the last one to face some enormous opponent who will surely flatten you and send you to hospital for treatment.

As he prepared for his Budget, we were all aware of the gathering momentum of “coronavirus” and the global collapse of the stock markets as investors seem unable to comprehend the impact on trade and the current oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. No small matters and certainly sufficient to cause significant “alarm”.

The Budget

INCOME TAX

Rates remained unchanged – so depending on whether you are a glass half empty or half full, if you allow for inflation, that’s worse, but better than an increase.

  • Personal Allowance: £12,500
  • Basic rate (20%) on the next £37,500
  • Higher rate (40%) on income up to £150,000 (but loss of personal allowance at £100,000 ars previously)
  • Additional rate (45%) on income over £150,000

The only allowance to improve marginally was Capital Gains tax (increased from £12,000 to £12,300), which will be of little comfort today.

PENSIONS

The Lifetime Allowance has increased by inflation to £1,073,100. The precision of this number speaks volumes of the Treasury’s desire to collect every penny.

Anyone earning over £300,000 can only contribute £4,000 to a pension (including employer payments). Otherwise, some relief for Hospital Consultants as the Tapered Annual Allowance was inflated by £90,000 to impact those with incomes over £240,000. This keeps tax calculations complex and required, but likely to kill off public sympathy for the cause to simply abolish the Tapered Annual Allowance. If you really don’t understand this, it probably doesn’t impact you.

ISAs

There remain at a very healthy £20,000 of tax-free growth and tax-free income when withdrawn, unlike a pension which has tax relief and provides taxable income. This also tells you something about the Treasury.

A Junior ISA (JISA) has been greatly increased to allow for a significant £9,000 into a JISA each tax year from 2020/21. No real benefit for adults, but of course a bit of a nod to those funding University. Though this could turn into a large fund over time and some thought ought to be given to how most 18 year-olds handle money.

INHERITANCE TAX

No changes

BUSINESS OWNERS

Those wishing to sell a business that they built will now have much higher taxes to pay on sale as entrepreneurs’ relief was slashed. The 10% tax rate on sale of a business still applies but only on the first £1m rather than the first £10m. That idea that your business is your pension… well, think again the new allowance is lower than the Lifetime Allowance.

CORONAVIRUS – CORVID19

Various special measures have been “initiated” to enable people to have some form of basic minimum income (statutory sick pay) from first signs of illness and self-isolation. This is an attempt to head off concerns that those needing to earn cannot afford to be ill and therefore continue to pose a “threat” to the rest of us. Whether it works remains to be seen – I suspect call centres will be jammed for some time.

As far as I can tell today, a few things are in short supply and probably more expensive than a week ago – toilet paper, hand sanitiser and wisdom.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 20202023-12-01T12:13:22+00:00

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 3

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 3 – IHT

Inheritance Tax is one of the most unpopular taxes, yet it is a tax that you will not pay – your estate might. There are various solutions to reducing or avoiding inheritance tax – talk to me if you want to know more about them. However, each tax year you get some basic allowances that you can use to pass on wealth without any inheritance tax.

  • ANNUAL EXEMPTION

Each tax year you can give away £3,000 free of IHT. If you do not use all of the exemption in one year, you can carry forward the unused element, but only to the following tax year, when it can only be used after that year’s exemption has been exhausted.

  • SMALL GIFTS EXEMPTION

You can give up to £250 outright per tax year free of IHT to as many people as you wish, so long as they do not receive any part of the £3,000 exemption.

  • NORMAL EXPENDITURE EXEMPTION

The normal expenditure exemption is potentially the most valuable of the yearly IHT exemptions and the one most likely to be reformed. Currently, any gift is exempt from IHT provided that:

    • you make it regularly;
    • it is made out of income (including ISA income); and
    • it does not reduce your standard of living.

One way to combine the use of your CGT annual exemption with IHT planning could be to make an outright lifetime gift of investments. Such gifts would count as a disposal for CGT purposes and a potentially exempt transfer for IHT. The recipients of the gifts would start with a base cost for the investment equal to the gift’s value and there would be no IHT to pay at any time, provided you survived for the following seven years (possibly reduced to five under OTS proposals).

ANNUAL GIVING

ISAs – INDIVIDUAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

There are five important tax benefits which are common across the different types of ISA:

·         Interest earned on cash or fixed interest securities is free of UK income tax.

·         Dividends are free of UK income tax.

·         Capital gains are free of UK CGT.

·         There is nothing to report on your tax return.

·         On death, the income tax and CGT benefits of your ISAs can effectively be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.

The overall maximum that can be invested in all ISAs in 2019/20 is generally £20,000 (£4,368 for Junior ISAs). There are no carry forward provisions, so like the CGT annual exemption it is a case of use it or lose it.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 32023-12-01T12:13:23+00:00

IS INHERITANCE TAX AVOIDABLE?

TODAY’S BLOG

IS INHERITANCE TAX AVOIDABLE?

News this week that the taxman is set to take a record amount of inheritance tax for 2018/19 is perhaps not too much of a surprise. Most years the amount of inheritance tax paid rises. Arguably the least popular tax – sometimes called death duties, this is the tax that applies once you die to your worldly wealth.

It is generally the case that if you are married, it is only paid once the both husband and wife have died. This final day of reckoning, tax-wise generated £4.5billion in the first 10 months of 2018/19. A new record high.

It is surprising that despite complaining about the tax, most people do little about it. IHT is one of the few taxes that is avoidable by arranging your affairs sensibly in advance.

5 QUICK TIPS

1. Consider taking out an insurance policy to pay the bill. Admittedly this has a cost and does not remove the bill, but it does enable your real wealth to be passed on to those you want to receive it, rather than the Chancellor. A simple joint-life second death policy placed into Trust will suffice.

2. Have a Will and review it. This will ensure that your estate is passed to the right beneficiaries and you may also nominate charities. Gifts to charities are exempt from any inheritance tax.

3. Know your limit. Everyone has a limit known as the nil rate band. This is the first £325,000 of an estate – the net value (assets less liabilities). If you have a property this can be increased (complicated but it will increase). Couples double up on these. You can find more detail within out FREE app about this.

4. Consider using IHT exempt investments, this is really not for everyone, but is certainly a possibility. The most basic being business owners have certain exemptions – technically known as BPR, as does owning woodland or some aspects of farming. You can also hold some AIM listed shares which will be exempt – but be warned all these options have pro’s and con’s.

5. Spend money from the right places. Under pension reforms, it is possible to pass on the balance of a pension fund free of inheritance tax. So if you have the option, you may wish to use up other investments that will be subject to IHT first. Context is everything and thought needs to be given to this from an income tax angle and investment approach.

There are other options too, so if you would like to discuss how you can reduce inheritance tax please get in touch. However, if you are married and have a net estate worth less than about £1million you probably wont have any inheritance tax.

And finally a reminder about our app, which is loaded with all this information.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

IS INHERITANCE TAX AVOIDABLE?2023-12-01T12:17:33+00:00

INHERITANCE TAX UPDATE

Inheritance Tax Update

Inheritance tax has sometimes been described as a voluntary tax. This may ruffle your feathers a little, but is of course true in principle. That is to say that you can plan for inheritance tax. You do so by arranging your affairs in such a way that you either pay minimal tax, none or ensure that you have resources aside to make no significant difference. Despite this between April 2018 and the end of the summer (August 2018) a whopping £2.357bn was paid to the Treasury in the form of inheritance tax. This is almost as much as was collected in the whole of 2010-11.

The Office of Tax Simplification has completed (8 June) a survey of the review of inheritance tax. This is currently being contemplated. The last Chancellor introduced a more complicated way to increase the inheritance tax allowance. What appeared reasonably generous, was actually conditional.  The extra benefit, under certain condition could be lost. Those that remember “Yes Minister” might smile at the notion of the OTS asking how to do their job. That is to say, the Office of Tax Simplifcation, asking “how do we simplify IHT?”. For starters, do what you are meant to do and make it simple. The debate about whether IHT is “moral” or “political” is probably a secondary issue to it being at least “simple” which currently… it is not.

Asking the Questions…

The survey poses more questions, which largely seem to be concerned with record keeping rather than adjusting the rate or rules. However as only around 5% of estates pay IHT, perhaps the issue is one that most people are not as bothered by as the news outlets suggest. However, the survey makes an interesting read, highlighting all the current “issues”. See the survey here.

You may have noticed that I wrote a series of pieces on inheritance tax, three years ago how gifts are recorded and the forms that you could even download and prepare for your beneficiaries. You can find these here.

What if you had died yesterday?

Where are you originally from?

Marriage is not an IHT exemption

How does HMRC know about gifts?

As safe as houses

Paying inheritance tax when someone dies is not always straight-forward. The term “estate” is perhaps misused, it should really mean “death” and when one person in a marriage dies, there is no inheritance tax by default.

The amount of IHT collected continues to rise each year. Consider each of these tax years.

2010-11 £2,724m

2011-12 £2,917m

2012-13 £3,147m

2013-14 £3,417m

2014-15 £3,825m

2015-16 £4,673m

2016-17 £4,840m

2017-18 £5,228m

Folks, it doesn’t have to be this way… you have the power to plan for the certainty of death

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

INHERITANCE TAX UPDATE2023-12-01T12:17:49+00:00
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