Inheritance Tax (IHT)

  • IHT may be payable when an individual's estate is worth more than the IHT nil rate band when they die.
  • Lifetime and death transfers between UK domiciled spouses are exempt from IHT.
  • For 2020/21, a further nil rate band of £175,000 (2019/20 - £150,000) may be available in relation to current or former residences.
  • The IHT threshold available on death may be increased for surviving spouses as there may have been a nil rate band not used, or not fully used, on the previous death.
  • There are reliefs for some business and farming assets which reduce their value for IHT purposes.
  • IHT may also be payable on gifts made in an individual's lifetime but within seven years of death.
  • Some lifetime gifts are exempt.
  • Transfers of assets into trust made in an individual's lifetime may be subject to an immediate charge but at lifetime rates.
  • There are also charges on some trusts.

IHT rates and nil rate band 2020/21 and 2019/20

IHT nil rate£325,000
Lifetime rate20%
Death rate40%
Death rate if sufficient charitable legacies made36%

IHT reliefs for lifetime gifts

Annual exemption£3,000
Small gifts£250
Marriage 
- parent£5,000
- grandparent£2,500
- bride/groom£2,500
- other£1,000

IHT - reduced charge on gifts within seven years of death

Years before death% of death charge
0-3100
3-480
4-560
5-640
6-7

20