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Tinkering with inheritance tax

Recommendations by the Office of Tax Simplification to streamline inheritance tax are not fundamental reform but are welcome, says Matthew Duncan

23 October 2019

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published its second report following its independent review of the main complexities and technical issues arising from the way inheritance tax (IHT) works.
 
The review makes 11 recommendations. The OTS states its recommendations could “streamline gift exemptions [and] change the way the tax works in relation to lifetime gifts” making it simpler and more intuitive. 
 
While the OTS makes various sensible and welcome recommendations, some will give practitioners pause for thought and, if implemented, will require a review of clients’ existing wills and succession planning. 
 
Interestingly, the OTS did not, however, feel the need to make any recommendations to simplify the residence nil rate band and stayed clear of reviewing the IHT treatment of trusts. 
 
The review focuses on three key areas of IHT: lifet...

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