We call for deferment of Inheritance Tax

Published by Gemma Spencer on 15 April 2020

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The Government and HMRC should defer inheritance tax (IHT) payments for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

Gemma Spencer, Partner and Joint Head of Legal Services comments.

“HMRC currently allows a six-month window from death to settle any IHT liability, yet the current lock down and self-isolation measures are making it very difficult to obtain the necessary information needed to calculate that liability.

“it is not currently possible, for example, to accurately value property assets as professional valuations usually require a physical inspection of the property. Executors will be self-isolating, home-schooling or working in front line occupations and may not able to meet their legal obligations.

“HMRC encourages executors of wills to submit estimates on estate values, but any underpayment will incur interest, albeit at a reduced rate. But we question whether that is enough.

“The Government has already allowed business and private individuals to defer tax and VAT payments, and we believe this should be extended to IHT.

“The death of a loved one is always an exceptionally stressful time, now more so than ever with the current restrictions in place. HMRC needs to extend the window to settle IHT liabilities to reflect the current environment.”

If you are administering an estate and need help then please get in touch with the Kreston Reeves Private Client team and we will do everything we can to guide you through these challenges.

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