Navigating the complex landscape of Inheritance Tax amid rising penalties for 2022/23

Navigating the complex landscape of Inheritance Tax amid rising penalties for 2022/23

In the realm of estate planning, Inheritance Tax (IHT) stands as a pivotal consideration.

The recent surge in IHT penalties, which amounted to an astonishing £2.28 million in the last tax year, underscores the need for meticulous planning.

Many families are finding themselves unprepared for the intricacies associated with IHT.

Who is responsible for IHT payments?

If you are to avoid penalties, then it is important to understand the responsibilities of those associated with an estate:

Understanding thresholds: The nil-rate band and residence extensions

The standard IHT rate is 40 per cent on estates valued above the nil-rate band, currently £325,000.

However, this threshold could effectively rise to £500,000 if you bequeath your main residence to direct descendants due to the residence nil-rate band.

The significance of lifetime gifts and potentially exempt transfers

Certain gifts you make during your lifetime can fall under Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs). These become subject to IHT only if you pass away within seven years of making them. Notably, the IHT liability on such gifts reduces yearly after the third year, thanks to taper relief.

Special Cases: Business and Agricultural Relief

Specific business and agricultural assets could be eligible for Business Relief or Agricultural Relief, potentially reducing their IHT valuation by up to 100 per cent.

The Process of Calculating IHT

Calculating IHT is far from straightforward and may involve:

Timeframes and Consequences of Non-compliance

IHT must be paid within six months from the end of the month the deceased passed away. Failing to comply may lead to penalties, interest on unpaid sums, and possibly in-depth investigations, accruing further fines.

The latest figures for the 2022/23 tax year showed a record £5.76 billion in IHT collected, marking a 16 per cent hike from the previous year. The penalties, at £2.28 million, surged by 34 per cent.

These numbers indicate an increasing likelihood of families encountering IHT-related challenges. Thus, it is imperative to tackle these complexities proactively to avert financial repercussions.

Solicitors can play an important role in the management of an estate, including the management of IHT. Often working alongside accountants and tax advisors, our team help families manage and settle estates so that they can enjoy peace of mind. For more information about our private client services, please speak to our team.

Contact us

Complete the below form and a member of our team will get back to you

If you would like to see full details of our data practices please visit our Privacy Policy and if you have any questions please email