The Autumn Statement fixed the IHT nil rate band at £325,000 until the end of 2027/28. Holding the threshold at the same amount for 19 years (from 6 April 2009) will bring far more people into the scope of the tax. However, the £175,000 ‘residential nil rate band enhancement’ on death transfers can reduce the impact where it applies. A married couple may now be able to leave up to £1 million free of IHT to their direct descendants (£325,000 plus £175,000 from each parent), but the rules are complicated, and the prospect of the nil rate band being fixed for another 5 years increases the importance of proper IHT planning.
The only change to IHT in the March Budget was the announcement that reliefs applicable to woodlands and agricultural property will be restricted to land in the UK with effect for transfers made on or after 6 April 2024.