Office of Tax Simplification publish the scope of their review of Inheritance Tax
Following the Chancellor’s request for a review of the inheritance tax (IHT) regime, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has now published a scoping document. This document clarifies that the principal aim of the review will be to “identify opportunities and develop recommendations for simplifying IHT from both a tax technical and an administrative standpoint.” Specific issues that will be considered include the IHT submission process, the gift rules, routine estate planning, and perceptions of complexity.
This review has a much wider focus than just process and administrative issues and will cover: “complexities arising from the reliefs and their interaction with the wider tax framework”; and “the scale and impact of any distortions to taxpayers’ decisions, investments, asset prices or the timing of transactions because of the IHT rules, relevant aspects of the taxation of trusts, or interactions with other taxes such as capital gains tax”.
The OTS confirms the intention to consult widely amongst stakeholders, with a call for evidence early in 2018. A report will be published in the autumn of 2018 providing an initial evaluation of the current IHT regime, identifying opportunities for simplification and making simplification recommendations for the Government to consider.
It is possible that following publication of the OTS report in the autumn, the Government may announce its decision to move forward with some or all of the OTS’s recommendations in the 2018 Autumn Budget.
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