Why is HMRC investigating more IHT-paying estates?

Inheritance Tax

The tax year 2019/20 saw a significant rise in HMRC queries into IHT-paying estates, with one quarter of estates under investigation. The average IHT yield rose to £50,000 with a total of £274m recovered during the year.

This represents a significant increase in IHT investigations and comes after years of lobbying for simplification of this notoriously complex area of tax.

Says Julia Gallagher, tax partner at Curo Chartered Accountants “Being an executor with responsibility for someone’s will and estate is a challenging job for many and most attempt this task with integrity. It is concerning to see so many investigations by HMRC, which shows how complex the rules can be and difficult to interpret and apply.”

Lat year the Office for Tax Simplification proposed sweeping reforms of the tax, with MPs calling for a radical shake up.

Says Julia “The process of dealing with a loved one’s estate, or ‘probate’ is something which doesn’t necessarily have to be done by a professional for simple estates although in light of HMRC’s renewed interest in IHT, we strongly urge people to seek professional advice. We’ve seen an increase in individuals attempting probate themselves, most likely to save money in professional fees but this frequently leads to mistakes, hence one reason for the increase in IHT investigations.

As a probate-licenced Chartered Accountant, I can undertake probate work and prepare all tax accounts and calculations, ensuring the correct amounts are paid on time and saving further anguish at what is usually an upsetting time for the bereaved.”

With the Autumn Budget postponed, we will have to wait to find out what plans Chancellor Rishi Sunak has in store for the unpopular ‘Death Tax’.

To discuss how Julia can help with your probate and IHT issues, please email or call Julia on 01527 558539.