Friday, December 04, 2009

Tory Inheritance Tax Proposals

I just wanted to remind readers of a post I wrote in September 2008 about inheritance tax which drew attention to an article in the Telegraph entitled Tories plan to raise inheritance tax threshold to £2 million.

Just to reiterate, it's not £1 million (which is bad enough), it's £2 million for married couples. At a time when they claim that the public finances can't cope with such give-aways. Here's a quote from the Telegraph article:

The detail of the Tory plan was uncovered by Clive Scott-Hopkins, a retired financial adviser and Telegraph reader.

Earlier this year, Mr Scott-Hopkins wrote to Theresa May, shadow leader of the House of Commons asking how the Tory tax plans would affect married couples.

She wrote back, saying: "I am happy to confirm that our inheritance tax proposal will introduce a threshold of £1m per person (not per couple).

"This means that it would be possible for a married couple to enjoy a threshold of £2m."

Conservative Campaign Headquarters confirmed that the £1 million limit would transfer to the surviving spouse.

A Tory spokesman admitted that the party had not publicised the detail of the now-famous plan.

He said: "We would keep the automatic transferability of the nil rate band, if it is still in place when we inherit, and we would raise the nil rate band to £1m per person.

"This has always been our position; it's just that we haven't shouted about it."

Time for Labour to shout about it now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The shout should not least be about the fact that when geo Osborne announced this at a Tory Conference, expecting an imminent General Election which they would lose, he misunderstood the effects of his proposal.

At that time the aggregation of spouses' allowances required a visit to a solicitor and a payment of a few (FEW!) hundred pounds.

His announcement neglected the possibility of such aggregation.

Darling took a wonderful initiative (I think the 14th change in the rules re IHT since 1997): he permitted the aggregation to be done without expensive visits to solicitors, and also for widows to be allowed to backdate the allowance in respect of any spouse deceased in the previous 10 years.

I do not recall the variously disgusting Tory media, often engaged like banshees on behalf of the rich when they die and their heirs, saying thank you.