28 July 2015

Attention-grabbing headlines are worthy of close attention...

The recent Summer Budget threw up some attention-grabbing headlines, however, as Carbon’s Investment Director, Barry O’Neill, highlights, it is worth paying particular attention to the small print.

Barry’s observations relate to the £1million inheritance tax allowance which was heralded in George Osborne’s recent Budget. Barry warns married couples and civil partners not to assume that they now have a £1million tax-free allowance to pass on to the next generation. In fact, there will be no change to the current allowance – called the nil-rate band (NRB) – until the 2020-21 tax year. Furthermore, the proposed 2018-19 rise in allowances from £325,000 to £329,000 will now only rise in line with the Consumer Price Index from 6 April 2021.

The headlines about the additional property nil-rate band may have been misinterpreted by many who wrongly assumed that this is being introduced at £175,000 per person with immediate effect; when added to the existing £325,000 nil-rate band, this will provide an individual allowance of £500,000. However, people need to be aware that this additional property-related allowance will be phased in over four tax years, starting at £100,000 in 2017-18 and rising by £25,000 a year until 2020-21.

There are some other details of the announcement that perhaps need further clarification. The property-based allowances, for example, will only apply to those passing the family home on to direct descendants, so people with no offspring will not enjoy any additional benefit.

As Barry points out, you don’t actually have any more in the way of allowances now than you did before the Budget, and nothing will be changing until 6 April 2017. It is an enlightening article from Barry who advises couples with a combined estate worth more than £650,000 to seek advice before this date as to how to mitigate any potential inheritance tax bill.

You can read Barry’s full article here, or by clicking on the image below.

If you would like to discuss your financial planning options, please contact us with any questions you might have. You can do this by calling our head office on 0131 220 0000, or by emailing us at or you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

You can view Barry O’Neill’s profile here.


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