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Estates pay record amount of death duties

20th September 2019

A record amount of estates paid inheritance tax in 2016/17, according to government figures.

More than 28,100 estates were liable for death duties in 2016/17 - a new high for the number of estates charged.

The latest figure represented a 15% rise on the previous year's figure of 24,500, and continued the trend of year-on-year increases since records began in 2009/10.

The average deduction was £179,000, while the proportion of estates liable to inheritance tax increased from 4.2% in 2015/16 to 4.6% in 2016/17.

Total duties raised from inheritance tax also reached a new record of £5.4bn during 2018/19, which represented a 3% rise on the previous year.

The nil-rate band has remained frozen at £325,000 since 2009/10, with tax deducted at 40% on the part of an estate that exceeds this threshold.

With the nil-rate band not being adjusted in line with inflation, more estates are falling into the inheritance tax net.

The residence nil-rate band can increase this threshold to £475,000 in 2019/20 if a family home is left to any children or grandchildren.

Earlier this year, the Office for Tax Simplification suggested a second set of reforms to the death tax system.

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