Half of UK inheritance tax paid in London and South East

By Lenore Rice

Approximately £3.1billion inheritance tax was paid in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in 2012-13, but half of that was generated from estates in London and South East England according to recent data from the HMRC.

That so much inheritance tax should be paid in London is perhaps no surprise given how property prices quickly rode the recession and began rocketing again. The average London property has recently been estimated at £450,000, which is in itself above the threshold for a single person.

The threshold for inheritance tax is currently £325,000 - doubled where a married couple is involved. One of the most common assets in an estate being administered after a death is the family property, so rising house prices have pushed more and more estates over the inheritance tax threshold.

Estates in Northern Ireland contributed £27million of inheritance tax from 200 taxpayers (in 2010-11), equating to just 1 per cent of the total inheritance tax paid in the UK that year.

There are important steps that can be taken to minimise liability for inheritance tax payment, the most important being to make sure you have written a Will. There are also other mechanisms such as gifting which you can obtain advice on by contacting Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast at 0800 840 9293.