Number of IHT cases hits record levels

The number of estates liable for inheritance tax reached a record level in the 2016-17 tax year, latest official data has shown.

Figures published by HM Revenue and Customs in September showed the taxman levied IHT from 28,100 estates during 2016-17 (the most recent data available), 15 per cent up on the year before and a record number of estates charged.

The total number of estates paying IHT:

Source: Wilsons Solicitors

The average bill was £179,000 and the proportion of estates liable rose from 2.6 per cent in 2009 to 4.6 per cent in 2016-17.

Total funds raised from IHT receipts during 2018-19 also reached a record level, increasing 3 per cent year-on-year to £5.4bn.

Source: HMRC

IHT bills have been rising steadily since 2009-10 when the government froze the nil-rate band at £325,000. As the band hasn’t adjusted with inflation, more and more estates are falling into the net of IHT.

One law firm, Wilsons, has estimated that had the threshold increased in line with inflation, the band would now be £432,000.

The figures also showed the amount the taxman had levied through IHT had more than doubled in the past nine years.

Analysts have described the past decade as a “bonanza for the taxman” due to property and share price growth.

The above trends stress just how important it is that consumers considered IHT as they got older and took sensible steps to avoid paying more than they had to.

This information is provided strictly for general consideration only. No action must be taken or refrained from based on its contents alone. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed for any loss occasioned about the content hereof and any such action or inaction. Professional advice is necessary for every case.



Julian Kaye Dip PFS

Financial Adviser