Is Your Estate Excepted From IHT?

(for UK domiciliaries only)

From 6 April 2004, there are two types of estates are qualified to be excepted from IHT for UK domiciliaries.

1. Low valued estates
When the total value of estates does not exceed the inheritance tax threshold, then those estates do not suffer IHT.

Which threshold should be applied is determined by the date of deceased’s death. If the death was between 6 August and 5 April in any one tax year, or between 6 April and 5 August with the grant of representation taken after 5 August, you should use the threshold of that tax year in which the death happened. If death was between 6 April and 5 August, but the grant of representation was taken before 5 August, the threshold should be used is the one from the tax year of one year earlier.

2. Exempt estates
No IHT is payable when either Spouse/Civil Partners Exemption or Charity Exemption applies and the gross value of the estates is less then £1 million.

Spouse/Civil Partner Exemption can only be deducted if both spouses or civil partners have always been domiciled in the United Kingdom, if one of the spouse/ partners is domiciled outside of UK at the time of transfer of estates, the exemption is limited to £55000. And charity exemption can only be deducted if the gift is an absolute gift to the organisation concerned.

Both types of estates must be subject to the following conditions in order to be exempted from IHT:

• the deceased died domiciled in the United Kingdom,
• if the estate includes any assets in trust, they are held in a single trust and the gross value does not exceed £150,000 (unless the settled property passes to a spouse or civil partner or to a charity when the limit is waived),
• if the estate includes foreign assets, their gross value does not exceed £100,000,
• if there are any specified transfers(transfer the estate to somebody as a gift, the value does not exceed £100,000 if the transfer is within 7 years of death, and this transferred estate does not get involved into any trust), their chargeable value does not exceed £150,000, and
• the deceased had not made a gift with conditions attached
• the deceased did not have an alternatively secured pension fund, either as the original scheme member or as the dependant or relevant dependant of the original scheme member

Well financial planning with the help of Taxfile will significantly save your IHT, just feel free to visit our offices in
South London to get professional advice from our
tax experts.

Something You Need to Know about Principal Private Residence Relief to Avoid CGT

Before you start the game of property investment, be aware that the Inland Revenue is always interested in the profit you make by selling your properties.

But the sale of your main home will rarely result in any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability, because of the principal private residence (PPR) exemption.

Determination of Principal Private Residence
It is not necessary to have lived in it as the only or main residence for all the period of ownership, but it must have been occupied for at least part of the period of ownership as your only or main residence.
HM Revenue and Customs state that to qualify, “residence is one of quality rather than the length of occupation which determines whether a dwelling-house is its owner’s residence”. A dwelling house must have become its owners home at some point during ownership even though no minimum qualifying period of occupation is required to qualify for the relief.

•Nomination of Principal Private Residence
The nomination is made by sending a formal election to your tax office within two years of purchasing the second home. Once made, the nomination can be changed, and be backdated by up to two years, and can even be done after you have sold one of the two homes, which can lead to some useful tax planning. If you acquire a second home and do not make a nomination within the two year time limit, your main residence will be decided by the Revenue as a question of fact, which could mean you miss out on some valuable opportunities to claim relief.
Clearly, by careful planning with the PPR election, significant tax savings can be made, wherever there are two homes, nomination can be made to ensure that both are classed as qualifying main residences at some point in order to shelter the last three years from tax on both properties. Ordinarily, the property that is expected to realise the largest gain on sale will be the property that retains the nomination for the largest duration.
At Taxfile in Tulse Hill, South London you can pop in to see one of their tax advisers and for a reasonable fee they will recommend the best solution in order to minimize your tax liability.

Casual labour / subcontracting

It is not widely known that you must establish someone’s status when you pay them any money for helping you with their labour.The trick or tip is to get them to supply their unique tax reference number. They should invoice you for their services . If they don’t offer an invoice, it’s best to issue a self billing invoice for them to sign at the time you hand over the money.
Lots of people will offer their services to you if you have work which needs doing. In some industries it’s well regulated such as within the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
Most labour suppliers will be registered as self employed or a partnership and frequently these days as a limited company.
Each of them will have its own unique tax reference number (UTR).
They are not obliged to put this on their invoice to you.
You must request it if you fall into the classification termed by the government as a contractor or subcontractor.
There is a useful helpline for Construction Industry Scheme if you are not sure about your position and always try to get professional tax advice from companies like Taxfile in South London where their tax accountants make sure to sort out all your tax affairs.
If for example you are doing up a buy to let then you do not necessarily have to register just for this one activity, just make sure you follow the invoicing guidelines as above.
It may seem a lot to ask of the person doing the work for you but these days you just can’t be sure of how the government will react if they discover you have paid someone without adequate proof that they are registered to pay tax on their own profits.
For more information on the new CIS you can refer back to our blog post dated 25th August 2007 entitled ”What is the Construction Industry Scheme?”

Your personal tax allowance

Everyone who lives in the UK is entitled to a personal allowance. This is the amount of income you can receive each year without having to pay tax on it. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to claim certain other allowances.
There are three levels of personal allowance for 2007/2008 tax year:
•Basic rate, which is 5225 (with no income limit)
•age 65 to 74, which is 7550 (with an income limit of 20900)
•age 75 and over 7690 ( with an income limit of 20900).
It is important to bear in mind that if your income is over the income limit, the age related allowance reduces by half of the amount (£1 for every £2) you have over that limit, until the basic rate allowance is reached (you’ll always get the basic allowance, whatever the level of your income).
If you become 65 or 75 during the year to 5 April 2008, you are entitled to the allowance for that age group.

So if, for example, you are 69 and have an income of £22,000( £1100 over the limit) your age-related allowance would reduce by £550 to £7,000.

If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) knows your age you should get the personal allowance automatically. But bear in mind they won’t know your age unless you’ve told them or shown your date of birth on a tax return or claim form. If you haven’t done this already and you are 65 or over you need to contact your Tax Office.
If you want to claim a tax refund because you didn’t use your personal allowance (or for any other reason), you need to do so within five years from the 31 January following the end of the tax year concerned. Taxfile in South London can help you claim the overpaid tax . Their tax advisers deal with the Inland Revenue on your behalf , taking the strain off you at a taxing time, making sure that you never pay more than your minimum tax liability, whether this be income tax, capital gains tax (CGT) or inheritance tax(IHT).