Inheritance Tax


Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) is a form of tax which is payable on an individual’s estate when they die.  IHT can also however become due during a person’s lifetime if they gift in excess of their Nil Rate Band away during their life.

As the law currently stands, everybody has £325,000 (“the Nil Rate Band”) by way of a tax free band which means if our estate falls within this allowance no Inheritance Tax will be paid out of the estate.  When an individual marries or enters into a Civil Partnership the surviving spouse will inherit the percentage of the unused Nil Rate Band (“NRB”) from the deceased spouse’s estate thus potentially doubling their own NRB to £650,000.

However if a person’s estate falls outside the NRB a 40% charge is incurred on the estate which falls outside the NRB and this level has been sent until April 2018.

In cases where a % of an estate is left to charity there are occasions where the 40% tax charge can be reduced to 36%

There are further issues that affect IHT such as gifting.  Some gifts are exempt from IHT and there is the introduction of the new Residential Nil Rate Band which is due for Royal Assent in December 2015 and which should give an increased allowance to homeowners from 2017.  Further information is included on this website concerning the Residential Nil Rate Band.

2015/2016 Tax Bands 

Income Tax 

Band £ Rate %
0 – 5,000 0*
0-31,785 20**
31,786 – 150,000 40***
Over 15,000 45****
* Only applicable to savings income.  The rate is not available if taxable non-savings income exceeds £5,000 (£2,880)
** Except dividends (10%)
***  Except dividends (32.5%)
**** Except dividends (37.5%)

Other income taxed first, then savings income and finally dividends.

Inheritance Tax 

Death rate Lifetime rate Chargeable transfers


Nil Nil 0 – £325,000
40% 20% Over £325,000*
* Potentially increased for surviving spouses or civil partners who die on or after 9th October 2007


Annual exemption £3,000 Marriage – Parent £5,000
Small gifts £250 – Grandparent £2,500
-Bride/groom £2,500
-Other £1,000

Reduced charge on gifts within seven years of death

Years before death 0-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7
% of death charge 100 80 60 40 20

Capital Gains Tax 

Individuals £
Exemption 11,100
Standard rate 18%
High rate* 28%
Exemption 5,550
Rate 28%


* For higher and additional taxpayers

Entrepreneurs’ Relief 

The first £10 million of qualifying gains are charged at 10%.  Gains in excess of the limit are charged at the rates detailed above.

If you have a query or would like to book an appointment please get in touch with our team on 01256 320555 or email


  • nia-wharry

    Nia Wharry

    Wills and Estate Planning Director

  • claire-redhead

    Claire Redhead

    Wills and Estate Planning Director

  • Helen Beach

    Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor

  • Diane Thompson

    Legal Secretary

  • Sandra Brookes

    Legal Secretary