Another announcement to listen out for in the Spring Budget is whether the Chancellor acts on the recommendations of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) regarding inheritance tax (IHT). As reported in an earlier newsletter, the OTS suggested simplifying IHT on lifetime gifts including reducing the period of potential exemption from 7 to 5 years. Such a change would mean that the donor would only be required to survive for 5 years following a gift for the transfer to be exempt from IHT.
The OTS also suggested that the conditions for Business Property Relief might be tightened up by aligning the rules with the definition of a trading company for CGT. This relief currently provides 100% relief on the transfer of shares in an unquoted company.
The suggested change would mean that more transfers of shares would potentially be liable to IHT and may require a careful review of your plans if you are looking to pass on your business.
The Labour party were proposing to reverse the recent Tory party inheritance tax cuts if elected. They were referring to the additional nil rate band for passing on the family home. This additional relief should be taken into consideration when drafting your Will and we can work with your solicitor to make sure your Will is tax efficient.
When fully phased in from April 2020, an additional nil rate band of up to £175,000 is available on death where your residence is left to direct descendants.
This is on top of the normal £325,000 nil rate band.
The residence nil rate band is however restricted if your assets exceed £2 million. The rules are fairly complicated but we can review your personal circumstances to enable you to take advantage of all the relief that you are entitled to.
Note that the additional inheritance tax relief is available even when you downsize to a smaller property or move into care, provided assets of equivalent value are left to direct descendants in your Will.
If you would like more help or information on the above contact Richard Grayson on 01522 815100.
At this time of year we think about New Year’s resolutions. It is also a good time to start planning your tax affairs before the end of the tax year on 5th April.
An obvious tax planning point would be to maximise your ISA allowances for the 2019/20 tax year (currently £20,000 each).
You might also want to consider increasing your pension savings before 5 April 2020 as the unused annual pension allowance is lost after three years.
For those looking to do some inheritance tax planning it would be a good time to review (or make) your Will.
Good tax planning can save you money, so it’s time to get your affairs into order. Our team at Nicholsons will be able to help you. Contact Richard Grayson on 01522 815100.
As mentioned above furnished holiday lettings businesses are eligible for capital allowances on equipment in the property. Where the business incurs finance costs such as mortgage interest the restriction that applies to other residential property businesses does not apply to furnished holiday lettings.
It should also be noted that qualifying furnished holiday lettings businesses are eligible for a number of important reliefs from capital gains tax. “Rollover” relief would apply where the proceeds of sale of a property are reinvested in another qualifying asset and it is also possible to claim holdover relief on the gift of the whole or part of property business. Note also that entrepreneurs’ relief would be available on the disposal of the furnished holiday lettings business.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter the Office of Tax Simplification have recommended that furnished holiday lettings businesses should qualify for inheritance tax (IHT) business property relief which, if legislated, should mean no IHT payable when the business is passed on during lifetime or on death.
Want to know more about the tax reliefs available then call a member of our team on 01522 815100.
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) have undertaken a detailed review of Inheritance Tax (IHT), which is perceived by many as a complicated tax. The government normally takes account of OTS recommendations and their report is likely to lead to future changes to the rules. We will keep you posted as the changes may necessitate amending your Will or further planning to pass on your wealth.
There are also numerous misconceptions about how the tax operates, particularly in connection with gifts during someone’s lifetime. One of the proposed changes is to shorten the period for lifetime gifts to be exempt from 7 to 5 years. The OTS also recommended replacing the current £3,000 annual allowance, marriage allowances and the exemption for regular gifts out of income with a £25,000 personal allowance each year.
There is currently a very generous 100% relief from inheritance tax for passing on businesses and farm land during lifetime and on death. The rationale for Business Property Relief (BPR) and Agricultural Property Relief (APR) is to enable businesses to be passed on without the need to sell off assets to pay the IHT due on the transfer.
Currently if a business is wholly or mainly for the purpose of investment, then it will not be eligible for BPR. This is not always straightforward to determine. Many estates include both trading and non-trading business assets, and establishing whether this test is met can be difficult to establish. The ‘wholly or mainly’ test is generally considered to be a greater than 50% test and the OTS are suggesting that the test should be aligned with the much stricter 80:20 test that applies for CGT gift of business asset holdover and entrepreneurs’ relief. If introduced many more business transfers would be liable to IHT.
On the positive side the OTS have recommended that IHT business property relief should be extended to include Furnished Holiday Lettings aligning the tax treatment with that of Income Tax and CGT where they are treated as “trading” providing that certain conditions are met.
If you would like more information on the above please call Richard on 01522 815100