IHT receipts surge 16.6% to £1.4bn in April-May 2024

HM Revenue and Customs revealed that inheritance tax receipts (IHT) for April 2024 to May 2024 are £1.4 billion, which is £0.2 billion higher than the same period last year. That is an annual increase of 16.6%.

Laura Hayward, Tax Partner at professional services and wealth management firm Evelyn Partners, stated that IHT appears to be “booming this tax year.” She continued:

“…and after just two months, revenues are well on their way to a record total for the 2024/25 tax year. The 16.6% surge suggests that the next Government will be collecting significantly more from IHT, regardless of its plans for the tax or its associated reliefs.

IHT has become a specter at the electoral feast, one that no one wants to mention by name, let alone address. Labour briefly referenced it in their manifesto, pledging to end the use of offshore trusts, which primarily affects non-domiciled individuals.”

Additionally, Richard Bate, head of private wealth at national law firm Weightmans, remarked that inflation has “turned inheritance tax into a runaway train” as more households find themselves exceeding the qualification threshold. He added:

“What is becoming clear during the election campaign is that the main political parties are reluctant to commit to inheritance tax reform, much to the disappointment of many.

If comprehensive reform is politically unfeasible, some ‘quick fixes’ could be considered to streamline the current system. For example, the rules surrounding the residence nil rate band are overly complex and difficult to administer. Simplifying these or even replacing them with a general increase in the allowance for everyone would be a welcome change.”

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