New data out this week from HMRC shows that Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts for April to September 2021 were £3.1 billion – £0.7 billion higher than the same period a year earlier.
Julia Rosenbloom, tax partner at Smith & Williamson, the professional services firm commented:
“The Government continues to need to raise funds to pay for the costs of Covid-19 support schemes as well as reform commitments in other areas such as health and social care, while also dealing with the challenges posed by soaring energy costs. Ahead of next week’s Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will therefore be looking closely at all possible areas he can tap for additional revenue, not least from personal taxes such as IHT which have shown yet another uplift, to boost the Treasury’s spending power.
“Prime minister Boris Johnson’s recent announcement introducing a new health and social care levy, which broke a manifesto commitment, demonstrates that the Government is not afraid of tax rises. Whether any reforms to taxes are announced next week or at a later date, the outlook as to how individuals and businesses will be taxed in the coming years is far from certain. There have been a number of reports published by the likes of the Office of Tax Simplification as well as an All-Party Parliamentary Group on how IHT could be reformed, which present the Chancellor with plenty of possible options for change. Areas of focus in the studies have included the rules on lifetime gifts, the exemptions, and the CGT-free uplift on death.
“Given the uncertain outlook for taxes, I’d encourage people to start thinking about their tax planning sooner rather than later and make the most of current allowances before any changes are introduced. Investing tax-efficiently and considering options such as gifting could ensure that more of your assets are passed on to family members or charitable causes.”