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Life line

Is life being breathed into inheritance tax? Stephen Barratt considers the latest changes to the rules

12 August 2011

Many view death and taxes as equally certain but, for most, the two do not coincide. A combination of the fall in stockmarkets and property values, the steady rise in the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold up to £325,000 in 2009, the generous reliefs and the ability to make potentially exempt transfers has meant that only a very small percentage of estates incur a liability.

Partly as a result of its low yield (approximately £2.4bn for the year ended 31 March 2010), the tax has been largely untouched, with the exception of specific anti-avoidance measures introduced from time to time in response to tax planning arrangements and, of course, the welcome introduction of ?the transferable nil-rate band.

However, things do appear to be changing, and advisers and their clients need to be aware of current developments. There are signs that the government/HM Revenu...

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