21 November 2023

The Autumn Statement is only a day away now and there is much speculation as to what it will bring. It has been suggested that the Prime Minster and the Chancellor have been exploring reducing inheritance tax from 40% to 20%.

Over the years the various governments have done lots to look at increasing the tax free allowance, firstly introducing the ability to transfer the nil rate band (the tax free allowance) between spouses in 2008, then in 2012 the reduction of the tax amount to 36% if 10% of your estate was left to charity; and finally in 2017 the ability to claim more allowance if your home was being left to direct descendants. Whether these have gone far enough is open to debate.

Why is the Chancellor debating whether to make a change? There are two main reasons:

  • First, the public finances may be bad, but they are not as bad as has been expected, so Jeremy Hunt is feeling that he has a little more room to manoeuvre.
  • Secondly, the party in Government is concerned that it is staring general election defeat in the face, and it is keen therefore to do whatever it can to win the public over.

We will be waiting to see what is tomorrow brings but one thing is certain that whatever happens, reviewing financial arrangements and Wills carefully and regularly is an important task for everyone to ensure that they meet current requirements and work with the tax advantages at the time.

Battens Solicitors has a large team with vast experience across all of our seven offices, so please don’t hesitate to contact the private client team on 0800 652 8373 to make sure you are properly prepared.