Why take the risk of paying tax on your estate? Inheritance Tax is payable on estates of more than £325,000, but is easily avoidable – although recent news articles indicate that tax changes are imminent. To be sure of taking advantage of the best means of minimising liability, the time to act is now.
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has proposed that executors would only need to account for gifts made within five years of death rather than seven years currently. But some tax experts said another proposed change linked to this would increase tax for some people.
Inheritance tax has been dubbed Britain’s most hated tax, although it affects relatively few people: fewer than 25,000 estates are liable each year, which is less than 5% of all deaths
Estates pay 40% tax on assets above the £325,000 threshold, and the OTS has now proposed changes to make the system more streamlined. Under the current regime, if there is tax to pay on gifts it is charged at 40% on those given in the three years before the individual dies, while those given three to seven years before death are taxed on a sliding scale known as taper relief.
Money&Co.’s Inheritance Tax Service takes advantage of Business Relief. At present, estates with a value of more than £325,000 pay 40 per cent tax. This is reduced to 36 per cent if 10 per cent of the estate is given to charity.
If the family home is passed on before death, then the threshold increases to £450,000. If the threshold is not met following the death of a partner or spouse, then the balance is added to the threshold for the surviving partner or spouse. Thus, the maximum threshold is £900,000 (family home passed on and partner or spouse dies with no assets).
Here’s how it works: Money&Co. establishes a lending vehicle on your behalf, and is fully owned and controlled by you. Money&Co. administers the vehicle and ensures that the relevant secretarial and reporting requirements are met. After two years the vehicle becomes exempt from your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. Shares can be transferred during your lifetime, and the shares will still not be subject to Inheritance Tax as long as the two-year period has been observed.
Risk: Security, Access, Yield
Do consider not just the return, but the security and the ease of access to your investment. We write regularly about these three key factors. Here’s one of several earlier articles on security, access and yield.