Research and analysis

Research into the influence of IHT reliefs and exemptions

Research into the influence of Inheritance Tax reliefs and exemptions on estate planning and inheritances.


Behavioural evidence around Inheritance Tax and reliefs

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Upon death Inheritance Tax may be due if the total value of assets in the testators estate is above the threshold or nil-rate band – currently £325,000 (or up to £650,000 for a married couple). Inheritance Tax reliefs reduce the value of certain assets within a testator’s estate.

This research sought to understand the motivations, behaviours and attitudes underlying individuals’ decision-making process on Inheritance Tax (IHT) matters and the use of reliefs and exemptions in that process. Specifically, the objectives were:

1. To understand the decisions made by testators with agricultural or business assets when planning what to do with their estate

2. The influence of IHT reliefs on these decisions

3. What beneficiaries do, or intend to do with inherited assets.

As part of this qualitative research, a total of 80 interviews (mix of telephone and face-to-face) were conducted among testators and beneficiaries who owned agricultural or business assets, and agents (e.g. solicitors, accountants and tax advisors) who advised on agricultural property relief and/or business property relief.

Published 22 November 2017