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Inheritance tax exemptions ‘should be replaced’

10th October 2018

Chancellor Philip Hammond is being urged to remove layers of complexity surrounding inheritance tax when delivering his Budget.

The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) is due to make its recommendations, which may include a single, larger annual exemption to replace the four gift exemptions currently in place.

Individuals can give away £3,000-worth of gifts each tax year by using the annual exemption, which can be carried over for one year only.

Parents can also gift up to £5,000 towards their child's wedding or civil ceremony, with grandparents being able to donate up to £2,500 and other individuals up to £1,000.

Most of these inheritance tax exemptions have remained unchanged since being introduced in 1986, sparking a call for change.

Sean McCann, financial planner at NFU Mutual, said:

"You can only remove complexity, so a sensible approach would be to replace all the existing exemptions with one single annual exemption of at least £10,000 which would increase in line with inflation.

"Rather than a radical overhaul of inheritance tax in the Budget, we're likely to see some simple changes to help people pass on more of their wealth without the fear of triggering a tax charge.

"A healthier £10,000 annual exemption along with simpler, clearer set of rules would ease the burden on families."

Hammond will deliver his Budget speech on Monday 29 October 2018.

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