The Future of Inheritance Tax Reliefs

HM Revenue & Customs has published research that was carried out independently on its behalf looking at the awareness of, and use made of, Agricultural and Business Property Relief (APR and BPR) for Inheritance Tax. It seems likely that this is a precursor to reviewing APR and BPR.

The research shows that amongst people who own or inherited assets qualifying for APR and BPR, their decisions were primarily influenced by wanting to keep estates or businesses intact, and pass them on to their family. The reliefs allowed that to happen, but hardly any taxpayers acquired assets specifically to take advantage of the reliefs.

The fact that the reliefs are being used for their intended purpose may suggest that any review will now look at ways of tightening up the rules surrounding the reliefs, rather than abolishing or substantially restricting them.

Chapter 3 on taxpayers knowledge of the reliefs and their accountants and solicitors perception of that taxpayer knowledge makes for fascinating reading for anyone interested in these reliefs from either a personal or a professional perspective.

HM Revenue & Customs Research Report 478 may be found at: tax