PERSONAL TAXES GUIDE
We understand that there are many busy individuals and Self Assessment can be taxing. Let us help you meet you Self Assessment deadlines.
Self assessment can be a time consuming and often confusing business for busy individuals. Judging by the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are penalised by HMRC each year it can also be very costly exercise for simple errors such as:
- Deadlines are missed
- Incorrect returns are delivered
- Appropriate records are not kept
We aim to free up your valuable time by offering a Individual Self Assessment service, including:
- Calculating you tax liability
- Completing and filing your tax return on your behalf
- Advising you when payments are due and how much to pay
- Advising on appropriate record keeping.
- Introducing you to any tax saving opportunities.
- Representing you in the event of your being selected for investigation by HMRC
Inheritance tax – the tax paid on your assets after your death. On death, your estate will pay IHT at 40% on the value of non-exempt assets in excess of the nil rate band threshold. Read our guide to help you.
Inheritance Tax is paid at 40% on your estate on the value of non-exempt assets in excess of the nil rate band (currently £325,000).
1. Make a Will.
If you do not make a will your estate will pass in accordance with intestacy laws and so despite your intentions, control over who benefits will be lost. No IHT applies to assets that pass to your spouse because of the spouse exemption rules. Assets jointly owned on a joint tenancy basis pass automatically to the surviving spouse. It is worth noting that if the 1st spouse to die did not fully use his or her nil rate band, the percentage not used can transfer to the survivor (known as the nil rate band currently £325,000).
Case Study One
On Peter’s death, assets worth £500,000 pass to his wife Carla.
No IHT arises at the time due to spouse exemption. As Peter has not used any of his nil rate band, Carla inherits 100% of this.
On Carla death in 2017 her estate is worth £1million. Carla’s estate is then entitled to a nil rate band of £650,000. The IHT will be £140,000 (£350,000 x 40%)
2. Make a Gift.
The sooner you can transfer out of your estate the better. There are three useful exemptions that can be used against lifetime gifts. For example:
– Gifts to anyone up to £3000 per annum in value fall within the annual exemption. This means husband and wife whom never made any lifetime gifts they can make a total combined gift of £12,000 now (Inclusive of carry forward).
– If you make regular gifts out of surplus income which does not reduce your standard of living, such gifts will fall within the normal expenditure exemption. Includes earned income and investment income. Gifts out of Capital do not count for this purpose
– It can be helpful to make larger lifetime gifts because:
– If you survive the gift by seven years, the gift falls falls out of account for IHT purposes. Even if you don’t survive seven years, it is only the value of the gift that counts towards IHT liabilities.
– You must not benefit from your lifetime gift as otherwise the “gift with reservation of benefit” rules will apply. These rules treat your gift as still forming part of your taxable estate on death and so no IHT saving will arise. When making lifetime gifts, you must be willing to give up all access to it.
Case Study Two
Elizabeth is 75 and a widow, and has a taxable estate worth £800,000. When her husband died he did not use any of his nil rate band so Elizabeth effectively has a nil rate band of £650,000 (£325,000 x 2). This leave £150,000 exposed to IHT at 40% on death giving rise to a tax bill of £60,000. She has income surplus to requirements and happy to make a outright gift of £50,000 for the benefit of her grandchildren.
– No immediate IHT
– If Elizabeth survives seven years on making the gift, the gift fall outside IHT saving £20,000 (£50,000 x 40%)
– Any growth in the value of the gift will always be outside IHT.
– No CGT because it is a gift of cash.
3. Use a Trust
If you want to make a gift and reduce your taxable estate, but are worried about keeping control who benefits from the gift, consider creating a trust under which you are trustee.
4. Transfer Assets that increase in value on your death
It would be a good idea to make sure death benefits under pension schemes are held in a trust to make effective use of IHT planning.