HMRC achieves a record levels of inheritance tax

There has been a 15% hike in the number of estates liable to pay inheritance tax in recent years and HMRC has been the beneficiary – to the tune of a record-breaking £5.4bn in 2018/19

According to figures released in the last few days, the number of UK deaths resulting in an inheritance tax charge has been steadily rising since 2009/10 but between 2015/16 and 2016/17 they shot up by 3,600 to 28,100.

HMRC puts the increase in estates falling into the scope of inheritance tax down to rising asset values, in particular in relation to property, and the freezing of the tax-free nil rate band threshold at £325,000. However, the total is still only 4.6% of total deaths. And the average amount of tax they paid in 2018/19 was £179,000.

The figures also reveal that only 3% of estates falling into the scope of inheritance tax in 2016/17 were valued at £1m net or more and they accounted for 72% – or £3.4bn – of the total take of £5.1bn.

Most of the value in this group of estates is held in securities and UK residential buildings, with 8,820 estates accounting for 23% (£18.6bn) of all gross assets. At the other end of the scale, for net estates of less than £1m, the value is largely invested in residential property (£36.7bn) and cash (£14.9bn).