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Inheritance Tax Page

Key Tax and Pension Changes from the Autumn Statement

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Last week Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement aimed at tackling inflation and stabilising UK finances. The Chancellor detailed issues such as tax, government spending and energy as part of his plan to navigate the impending recession.

Your Ellis Bates team are busy reviewing your situation given these changes and you will be discussing the implications and actions with your Financial Adviser in your next review.

If you are not currently a client with Ellis Bates and feel now is the time to discuss your tax allowance maximisation, your new CGT position and pension planning in light of these changes, please do not hesitate to book a chat as we are here to help.

Pension Changes

  • State pension triple lock has been retained meaning the state pension will rise by 10.1% in April 2023. Those on the new state pension will receive £203.85 per week (up from £185.15)
  • Pension Annual Allowance (100% of earnings or £40,000) and Pension Lifetime Allowance (£1,073,100) have both been frozen until April 2026.

Your Ellis Bates Financial Adviser will work with you to determine if you need to consider alternative ways to save towards your retirement in light of these changes at your next review.

Income Tax Changes

  • From 6th April 2023, the 45% Additional Rate of Income Tax threshold will be brought down to £125,140 (from its current rate of £150,000)
  • Income tax allowances will be frozen until April 2028 – Personal allowance will remain at £12,570 and the threshold for a higher rate of income tax (40%) will remain at £50,270

National Insurance thresholds will remain frozen until April 2028.

Inheritance Tax

The nil rate band will remain at £325,000, the residence nil-rate remains at £175,000, and the residence nil-rate band taper will still start at £2 million.

Capital Gains Tax Changes

In April 2023 Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exempt amount will be reduced from £12,300 to £6,000. It will be reduced further to £3,000 from April 2024

Your Ellis Bates team are busy reviewing your situation given these changes in CGT and will be in touch over the coming weeks.

There will be no change to the rate of Capital Gains Tax:

Tax Band Tax rate for Property Sale  Tax rate for other Asset
Basic Rate 18% 10%
Higher Rate 28% 20%

Stamp Duty

There will be no immediate change to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), the increases which were implemented on 23rd September 2022 (SDLT nil-rate threshold was increased from £125,000 to £250,000. The nil-rate threshold paid by first-time buyers was increased from £300,000 to £425,000) will remain until March 2025, after which the allowances will revert to their previous levels.

Are you a business owner?

If you are a business owner, a number of changes and support systems were announced:

  • Business Rates multipliers will be frozen in 2023-24 at 49.9p (small business multiplier) and 51.2p (standard multiplier)
  • A Transitional Relief scheme will be implemented to support and help up to 700,000 properties adapt to their new bills from April 2023
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief scheme is being extended and increased from 50% to 75% for 2023-24, offering up to £110,000 per business
  • Supporting Small Business From 1st April 2023, the Supporting Small Business (SSB) scheme will cap bill increases at £50 per month (£600 per year) for the next 3 years. This will affect an estimated 80,000 properties.
  • Improvement Relief will now be introduced from April 2024 (originally intended for 2023)
  • Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £2,000 to £1,000 and reduced further, to £500, in April 2024.
  • Entrepreneurs Relief (Business Asset Disposal Relief) remains at 10% CGT if you sell all or part of your business (or its assets) on the profits you’ve made, up to £10m in total.

If you would otherwise pay higher rate CGT (20 per cent), this means you can save up to £1m in your lifetime through entrepreneurs’ relief.

If you are a business owner and an Ellis Bates client, your dedicated Financial Adviser will discuss these changes and how they may affect you and the actions needed in your next annual review meeting.

Stay updated: we update our Financial Advice hub with the latest financial news and insights, so hit the link to stay informed and up to date

If you do not currently receive financial advice from Ellis Bates, please Book a Chat to discuss this raft of tax changes and how we can help.

Sources: https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/capital-gains-and-dividends-tax-changes-in-the-2022-autumn-statement-ac6kT0e7yZ4X

Protecting family wealth

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What will your legacy look like?

Estate planning is about putting your affairs in order, to help make the lives of your loved ones easier. It can help to protect your estate for your beneficiaries and reduce the impact of Inheritance Tax (commonly called IHT for short).

IHT is something many of us don’t know enough about. Simply because we don’t think we need to.

Five key points to consider – Tax year 2022/23

1) IHT doesn’t just affect the wealthy

Traditionally, only the wealthiest in society were affected by IHT. But rising property prices means more and more people are now facing it. It all comes down to the value of your overall estate upon your death. If it’s worth more than your personal nil-rate band (NRB), anything above could be liable to IHT at up to 40%. (If you’re single or divorced, the NRB is £325,000 and if you’re married, in a registered civil partnership or widowed, it’s up to £650,000).

2) There’s also the residence nil-rate band (RNRB) – but not everyone can benefit

If you’re wondering what the RNRB is, this can be used alongside your usual NRB – and was introduced to help more people reduce their IHT liability. Every UK adult has a RNRB of £175,000. But the rules can be more complex than many people realise. Amongst the restrictions, you can only use this allowance if it relates to a property you have lived in, and passed to a direct descendant (such as your child or grandchild – not a friend, niece or nephew).

3) Your estate isn’t just your home

Your savings and investments, car and any rental properties form a part of your estate. Not forgetting any jewellery you have, household furniture or expensive paintings (minus any liabilities, like an unpaid mortgage). After working out the value of your belongings, you may be surprised by how much your estate comes to. It could be worth a lot more than you think. It’s also important to bear in mind that these assets could increase or decrease in value in the future.

4) Annual revenue is expected to keep climbing

The latest IHT figures should be a ‘wake-up call’ for families to think carefully about their tax planning. IHT receipts in the United Kingdom amounted to approximately £5.32 billion in the financial year 2020/21[1].

5) Your could do something about it

There are plenty of perfectly legal steps you can take to protect your family’s wealth from the taxman. The IHT solutions include annual exemptions, allowances, direct gifts and trusts.

Of course, there are many different options to choose from – so it’s important you find one that’s right for you. With this in mind, and the fact that IHT can be a complex subject, you should always obtain professional financial advice to guide you through the complexities – and help you put suitable plans in place.

Worried about Inheritance Tax eating into your estate?

How can you leave a tax-efficient legacy? We’ll help you leave more to those you love most. Although it’s not nice to think about, getting your affairs in order for when you pass away can bring real peace of mind as you get older. To find out more, please contact us to discuss your requirements or visit our Inheritance Tax page.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.

Source data: [1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/284325/united-kingdom-hmrc-tax-receipts-inheritance-tax/

Inheritance tax residence nil-rate band

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Owning a residence which you leave to direct descendants.

The introduction of the ‘residence nil-rate band’ (RNRB) has made it easier for some individuals to pass on the family home. The rise in property prices throughout the UK means that even those with modest assets may exceed the £325,000 ‘nil-rate band’ (NRB) for Inheritance Tax.

On 6 April 2017, the RNRB band came into effect. It provides an additional nil- rate band where an individual dies after 6 April 2017, owning a residence which they leave to direct descendants.

During the 2022/23 tax year, the maximum RNRB available is currently £175,000. Just like the standard NRB, any unused RNRB on the first death of a married couple or registered civil partners has the potential to be transferable even if the first death occurred before 6 April 2017. However, the RNRB does come with conditions and so may not be available or available in full to everyone.

Taxable estate

The RNRB is set against the taxable value of the deceased’s estate – not just the value of the property. Unlike the existing NRB, it doesn’t apply to transfers made during an individual’s lifetime. For married couples and registered civil partners, any unused RNRB can be claimed by the surviving spouse’s or registered civil partner’s personal representatives to provide a reduction against their taxable estate.

Where an estate is valued at more than £2 million, the RNRB will be progressively reduced by £1 for every £2 that the value of the estate exceeds the threshold. Special provisions apply where an individual has downsized to a lower value property or no longer owns a home when they die.

Lifetime gifts

In determining whether the £2 million threshold is breached, it is necessary to ignore reliefs and exemptions. This means that business relief and agricultural relief are ignored when determining the value of the estate for the RNRB even though they are taken into account to calculate the liability to Inheritance Tax.

As the £2 million is based on the value of the assets owned at the time of death, it does not include any lifetime gifts made by the deceased, even if they were made within seven years of death and are included in the Inheritance Tax calculation. The amount of RNRB available to be set against an estate will be the lower of the value of the home, or share, that’s inherited by direct descendants and the maximum RNRB available when the individual died.

Deceased spouse

Where the value of the property is lower than the maximum RNRB, the unused allowance can’t be offset against other assets in the estate but can be transferred to a deceased spouse or registered civil partner’s estate when they die, having left a residence to their direct descendants.

A surviving spouse or registered civil partner’s personal representatives may claim any unused RNRB available from the estate of the first spouse or registered civil partner to die.

Residential interest

This is subject to the second death occurring on or after 6 April 2017 and the survivor passing a residence they own to their direct descendants. This can be any home they’ve lived in – there’s no requirement for them to have owned or inherited it from their late spouse or registered civil partner.

In order to pass on a qualifying residential interest and use the Inheritance Tax RNRB, the property needs to be ‘closely inherited’. This means that the property must be passed to direct descendants.

Special guardian

For these purposes, direct descendants are lineal descendants of the deceased – children, grandchildren and any remoter descendants together with their spouses or registered civil partners, including their widow, widower or surviving registered civil partner. Also included are a step, adopted or fostered child of the deceased, or a child to which the deceased was appointed as a guardian or a special guardian when the child was under 18.

Direct descendant doesn’t include nephews, nieces, siblings and other relatives. If an individual, a married couple or registered civil partners do not have any direct descendants that qualify, they will be unable to use the RNRB.

Deemed residence

The facility to claim unused RNRB applies regardless of when the first death occurred – if this was before it was introduced, then 100% of a deemed RNRB of £175,000 can be claimed, unless the value of the first spouse or registered civil partner’s estate exceeded £2 million, and tapering of the RNRB applies.

The unused RNRB is represented as a percentage of the maximum RNRB that was available on first death – meaning the amount available against the survivor’s estate will benefit from subsequent increases in the RNRB.

Deed of variation

The transferable amount is capped at 100% – claims for unused RNRB from more than one spouse or registered civil partner are possible but in total can’t be more than 100% of the maximum available amount.

Under the RNRB provisions, direct descendants inherit a home that’s left to them which becomes part of their estate. This could be under the provisions of the deceased’s Will, under the rules of intestacy or by some other legal means as a result of the person’s death – for example, under a deed of variation.

Main residence

The RNRB applies to a property that’s included in the deceased’s estate and one in which they have lived. It needn’t be their main residence, and no minimum occupation period applies. If an individual has owned more than one home, their personal representatives can elect which one should qualify for RNRB.

The open market value of the property will be used less any liabilities secured against it, such as a mortgage. Where only a share of the home is left to direct descendants, the value and RNRB is apportioned.

Complex area

A home may already be held in trust when an individual dies or it may be transferred into Trust upon their death. Whether the RNRB will be available in these circumstances will depend on the type of Trust, as this will determine whether the home is included in the deceased’s estate, and also whether direct descendants are treated as inheriting the property.

This is a complex area, and HM Revenue & Customs provides only general guidance, with a recommendation that a solicitor or trust specialist should be consulted to discuss whether the RNRB applies.

Downsizing addition

Estates that don’t qualify for the full amount of RNRB may be entitled to an additional amount of RNRB – a downsizing addition if the following conditions apply: the deceased disposed of a former home and either downsized to a less valuable home or ceased to own a home on or after 8 July 2015; the former home would have qualified for the RNRB if it had been held until death; and at least some of the estate is inherited by direct descendants.

The downsizing addition will generally represent the amount of ‘lost’ RNRB that could have applied if the individual had died when they owned the more valuable property. However, it won’t apply where the value of the replacement home they own when they die is worth more than the maximum available RNRB. It’s also limited by the value of other assets left to direct descendants.

Planning techniques

Different planning techniques are available to address a potential Inheritance Tax liability, and these can be incorporated into the financial arrangements of any individual whose estate is likely to exceed the threshold. Get in touch with us for more guidance on planning techniques.

Festive gifts that teach children the value of money

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Why parents should look to Christmas investment gifts instead of toys.

With the festive season approaching, have you thought about gifting your children or grandchildren something different this year? Giving them a good start in life by making investments into their future can make all the difference in today’s more complex world.

Lifetime gifting is not only a good way to set up children for adulthood but is also a way of mitigating any Inheritance Tax concerns. However, what’s clear is that not all saving products for children are made equally. With interest rates at historic lows, if you are looking to put money away for a child to enjoy when they grow up investing is by far the best way to maximise your gift.

Significantly higher returns

Some people remain worried about the volatility of investing but, with an 18-year horizon, putting money to work in the market can give significantly higher returns than products such as Premium Bonds.

One option to consider is a Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA). These were introduced in the UK on 1 April 1999 as a long-term replacement for Child Trust Funds (CTFs). If a child was born between 2002 and 2011, they might already have a Child Trust Fund, but these can be transferred into a JISA.

Save and invest on behalf of a child

If the CTF is not transferred, when a child reaches 18 they’ll still be able to access the money. Or they can choose to transfer it into a normal Cash ISA. A JISA is a long-term savings account set up by a parent or guardian and lets you save and invest on behalf of a child under 18 without paying tax on income or gains.

With a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA account, you can put your child’s savings into investments like funds, shares and bonds. Any profits you earn by trading investment funds, shares or bonds are free from tax. Investments are riskier than cash but could give your child a bigger profit, and the value of a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA can go down as well as up.

Money in the account belongs to the child, but they can’t withdraw it until they turn 18, apart from in exceptional circumstances. They can start managing their account on their own from age 16.

Financial education from a young age

The Junior ISA limit is £9,000 for the tax year 2021/22. If more than this is put into a Junior ISA, the excess is held in a savings account in trust for the child – it cannot be returned to the donor. Friends and family can also save on behalf of the child as long as the total stays
under the annual limit.

When your child turns 18, their account is automatically rolled over into an adult ISA . They can also choose to take the money out and spend it how they like. It is therefore important to ensure that children are given financial education from a young age so that when they can get their hands on the funds they use them wisely.

Been putting off planning for your child’s future?

Many parents, guardians and grandparents want to help younger members of the family financially – whether to help fund an education, a wedding or a deposit for a first home. If you are asking yourself ‘How can I start saving for my child’s future?’, using a Junior Individual Savings Account could be a good place to start. You don’t need a big lump sum to get started. In fact, contributing regular smaller amounts is a good way to start. To find out more, please speak to us – we look forward to hearing from you.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change. The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Wealth transfer and the next generation

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How to secure your family’s financial future.

We spend a lifetime generating wealth and assets but not many of us ensure that it will be passed to the next generation – our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and so on. Intergenerational wealth transfer is the passage of wealth from one family generation to the next.

It’s becoming increasingly important for more people to consider succession planning and intergenerational wealth transfer as part of their financial planning strategy. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, we’re on the brink of a vast shift in assets, unlike any that we have seen before.

Wealth transfers

By 2027, it is expected that wealth transfers will nearly double from the current level of £69 billion, to £115 billion[1], coined as ‘the Great Wealth Transfer’ of the 21st century.

Intergenerational wealth transfer can be a huge issue for all family members concerned. If done well and executed properly, it can make a real difference to the financial position of the recipients. If misjudged or poorly handled, it can cause enormous issues, conflicts and resentments that are never forgotten nor forgiven.

Financial implications

One aspect that hasn’t been widely considered is the impact on other family members, and in particular children, as their parents think about selling their business or retiring from their career, perhaps selling their family home, and starting life in retirement.

It is important that children are prepared to deal with this process, not least so they are aware of the financial implications and how they may be affected. For instance, children may be expecting to receive a certain amount of money from their parents – particularly those who are selling a business – and end up disappointed. Conversely, they may not be expecting to receive anything, and are therefore not equipped to deal with a windfall.

Contributory factors

According to the King’s Court Trust, £5.5 trillion will move hands in the United Kingdom between now and 2055, with this move set to peak in 2035[2]. Why? Well, there are a number of contributory factors that account for this. The two main reasons are increased net worth and rising mortality rates.

For those approaching, or in, retirement, it’s important to have frank and open conversations with children about expectations and also whether children have the knowledge and understanding to manage financial matters.

Approaching retirement

This is not an easy exercise, as you may not want to discuss your financial affairs with your children. You may find your children’s eyes are opened when they see what their parents have been able to achieve financially. They may even want to know how they can do that themselves and change their own habits.

Everyone works hard to provide for their family, and perhaps even leave them a legacy. However, parents approaching retirement shouldn’t feel that their family is solely reliant on them, or that they need to be responsible for their children’s financial situation.

Expressing wishes

A good approach is to help your children establish their own strong financial footing and be ready for intergenerational wealth transfer. For instance, introducing them to your professional advisers can provide comfort that there is someone they can go to for advice.

Having open conversations with your children and expressing wishes and goals will also ensure that your family are all on the same page, which can help reduce potential conflict later when managing intergenerational wealth transfer. These are some questions you should answer as part of your intergenerational wealth transfer plans:

  • When did wealth enter my life and how do I think this timing influences my values and family relationships?
  • What impact does affluence have on my life and the lives of my next generation?
  • What was the key to my success in creating wealth and how might telling this story to my future generation be helpful?
  • What is my biggest concern in raising my children or grandchildren with affluence?
  • What conversations (if any) did I have with my own parents about money and wealth growing up?
  • How did my parents prepare me to receive wealth?
  • What lessons did I learn from my parents about money and finance that I would like to pass on to my heirs?
  • What family values would I like to pass down to the next generation and how do I plan on communicating this family legacy?
  • What concerns do I have about my adult children when it comes to inheriting and managing the family wealth?
  • How can I help prepare my beneficiaries to receive wealth and carry on our family legacy?

Between generations

Despite the vast amount of wealth likely to be passed down between generations, those in line for inheritance could end up being over-reliant on their expected windfall. The key will be to ensure younger generations are able to get involved and understand how to handle the wealth they will be inheriting, as well as being able to make good decisions about the wealth that they generate themselves.

You need to consider who will receive what and whether you want to pass your wealth during your lifetime or on death. These decisions then need to be balanced by the tax implications of any proposed planning. This is especially important at what can be a highly stressful time. By making advanced preparations, the burden of filing complicated Inheritance Tax returns can be reduced. It’s worth noting that UK Inheritance Tax receipts exceed £3bn from 17,900 estates[3].

Source data:
[1] Kings Court trust, ‘Passing on the Pounds – The rise of the UK’s inheritance economy’.
[2] Resolution Foundation, Intergenerational Commission. ‘The Million dollar be-question’.
[3] Prudential 2019.