Plans to scrap inheritance tax (IHT) reported to have been drawn up by prime minister Rishi Sunak over the weekend are being taken with a pinch of salt across the industry.

The PM is expected to frame the policy as an “aspirational offer to voters” ahead of the general election, according to The Sunday Times. Sunak’s officials have label IHT as “the most hated tax in Britain”.

Despite the report, Sunak today (25 September) refused to comment on speculation that he is looking to abolish IHT next year. The Times reported that the PM has not denied that he is considering slashing IHT or removing it altogether.

Sunak said he would “never comment” on tax speculation and argued that “the most important tax” he can deliver is to “halve inflation”.

IHT receipts increased by £300m year-on-year to £3.2bn in the five months from April to August, according to the latest data released last week (21 September) by the HM Revenue & Customs.

According to Evelyn Partners head of estate planning Ian Dyall, a cut to the 40% tax rate would be “welcomed” by many families, particularly as those who have carefully saved, and built-up assets will likely have been taxed on much of that wealth already.

“Forty pence in the pound is a comparatively high levy that some feel is a bit punitive. But while it will reduce the impact of IHT on taxable estates, it will not remedy the trend of more and more families being drawn into the net of IHT,” he said.

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