For deaths on or after 6 April 2017 there is now an additional £100,000 inheritance tax (IHT) allowance where the family home is passed on to direct descendants. This was originally announced on 8 July 2015 and that date is relevant where the deceased has downsized to a lower value property.
This additional relief increases to £175,000 in 2020, and where the relief was not used on the death of the first spouse, it is available on the death of the surviving spouse.
This means that after 6 April 2020 a married couple can potentially pass on assets worth up to £1,000,000 without paying IHT as there would be £350,000 relief against the value of the family home in addition to the combined £650,000 nil rate bands (2 x £325,000).
Note however that the Labour Party have announced that if elected they will reverse this generous measure!
As mentioned in previous newsletters, it may be necessary to review your will and estate planning to ensure that you take full advantage of this new relief.
SELLING LAND TO A DEVELOPER – IS THAT TRADING OR A CAPITAL GAIN?
Farmers and other landowners will often be approached by developers seeking to obtain planning permission to build on the land. Great care is needed to avoid unnecessary tax charges on the transaction. HMRC have recently updated their guidance on transactions in land clarifying that under certain circumstances some of the eventual profit can be taxed as income not a capital gain. For individual property owners that could mean 45% income tax as opposed to just 28% CGT.
For example, a landowner sells some land to a developer for £5 million plus 10% of any profit on the development over £6 million. If the profit on the project was £8 million then the additional £200,000 would be taxed as a trading profit.
The tax rules in this area are complex. If you are involved in such a deal contact us so we can advise on the best way of structuring the transaction.