Thursday, November 29, 2018
Chancellor Phillip Hammond ordered a review of the Office of Tax Simplification (OST), and in doing such the Office recommended reducing or removing the requirement to submit inheritance tax (IHT) forms for smaller or simpler estates.
As it stands now, probate is not granted until an IHT has been filed and if a tax is due it must be paid prior to the granting. For small estates that are not liable for an inheritance tax it is a needless step in a time of grief. The OTS recommends that the government implement a fully integrated digital system for the filings of the forms and paying the taxes so that the process is completely simplified and smoother. The report also includes a recommendation that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HRMC) introduce a very short form for the simplest estates, while for other estates the burden should potentially be removed entirely.
Over half a million people die in the United Kingdom each year, and half of them are required to fill out the IHT forms, though only 5% of them are liable for paying the death tax. “The recommendations will make it easier for the majority, and would mean that in future, many may not have to do the forms at all. Improving the administration of this tax in these ways is important, as having to deal with the current process can seem overwhelming to people at a time when they are both preoccupied and distressed," says Angela Knight, chairman of OTS.
See Kyle Caldwell, Simplify Inheritance Tax process for Bereaved Families, Says OTS, Money Observer, November 23, 2018.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.