Inheritance Tax gifting – a refresher

There are several ways to minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) your family pay when you’re gone. In addition to maximising IHT allowances, other planning opportunities include utilising gift exemptions.

Making IHT-free gifts

Each financial year you can make gifts of up to £3,000 (in total, not per recipient) and if you don’t use this in one tax year, you can carry over any leftover allowance to the next year. If you do this, you have to use up all your allowance in that tax year; you can’t accumulate several years’ worth of allowance and use it up in a single gift.

In addition:

  • Gifts of up to £250 per person per financial year to any number of people are exempt
  • Each parent of a bride or groom can give up to £5,000; grandparents or other relatives can give up to £2,500 and any well-wisher can give £1,000
  • Gifts to registered charities and political parties are also exempt from IHT.

There is another simple way of passing money to the next generation which allows for gifts to be made from surplus income.

Gifting from surplus income

If you have enough income to maintain your usual standard of living, you can make gifts from your surplus income, such as regularly paying into your child’s savings account. To make use of this exemption, it’s essential that you keep very good records of these gifts. The gift will only qualify for exemption if it is part of a regular pattern of giving, and if you can demonstrate that you maintained your normal standard of living after making the gifts and all other usual expenditure, if you don’t, IHT might be due on these gifts when you die.

Conditions apply and advice would be needed to ensure that the gifts are made in the right way.

During your lifetime – gift exemptions and the 7-year rule

Many families consider giving their assets away during their lifetime, these are called ‘potentially exempt transfers.’ For these gifts not to be counted as part of your estate on your death, you must outlive the gift by 7 years. If you die within 7 years and the gifts are worth more than the nil-rate band, taper relief applies, so that if you die say within 6 years, the tax will be less than if you were to die a year after making the gift.

Gifts must be outright and you can no longer benefit from them. So, if you were to gift your home, but continue to reside there without paying a commercial rent, HMRC would consider this to be a ‘gift with reservation’ and include the value as part of your estate.

A reminder

During the Spring Budget it was announced that there will be a consultation on moving to a residence-based regime for IHT. No changes to IHT will take effect before 6 April 2025, nil-rate band remains at £325,000 and the main residence nil-rate band at £175,000, with taper starting at £2m (estate value).

The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.

Inheritance tax planning, trusts, tax planning, will writing and estate planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Approver Quilter Financial Services Limited & Quilter Mortgage Planning Limited. 26/04/2024

Why Interest Rates Remain High Despite Falling Inflation: Explained in Citrus Bites

Welcome to Citrus Bites, our monthly video covering the latest economic news for investors. Inflation has finally hit the Bank of England’s 2%...

Join our team – Technical Administrator

We are looking for a highly motivated and experienced Technical Administrator, with a Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning, to join our Sevenoaks...

Inheritance Tax gifting – a refresher

There are several ways to minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) your family pay when you’re gone. In addition to maximising IHT allowances...