Inheritance Tax Regime – Office of Tax Simplification Review12-Aug-2019

By Gillian Knowles, Head of Wills, Trusts & Estates

The office of tax simplification (OTS) is currently reviewing the UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) regime and has now published the first stage of its review, which focuses on administrative issues, rather than the level of tax itself.


As part of the review process the OTS requested feedback from the public and responses from professional bodies. In its findings, the OTS describes IHT as an “almost uniquely unpopular tax” and the level of criticism communicated as part of the review surprised even the OTS.

In documents published recently, the OTS makes various recommendations to reduce the complexity and administrative burden on taxpayers dealing with the IHT system. However, the suggestions and responses are not particularly new and have been discussed before. Unfortunately, the administration of IHT has become more complex and previous attempts at simplification have been unsuccessful.

A second report, covering wider issues and the level of taxation in respect of IHT, is to follow in spring 2019 and we will have to wait to see whether the findings are then acted upon. For the time being, the UK IHT regime can be a difficult tax to navigate and specialist professional advice should be obtained, whether by executors dealing with an estate administration or by individuals engaging in succession planning and will writing.

One of the professional bodies closely involved with the OTS consultation is the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP). All solicitors in the Wills Trusts and Estates Department at Cullimore Dutton are members of STEP and Gill Knowles, the Head of Department, has recently been appointed as branch secretary for STEP Cheshire. Our solicitors are specialists in IHT planning and have many years of experience dealing with and advising upon issues of taxation including IHT. We can provide you with the help you need to guide you through these complex issues.

For more advice about Inheritance Tax planning please contact a member of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Department at Cullimore Dutton Solicitors on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.