Guildford takes crown as inheritance tax ‘capital’ of the UK

Written by Oliver Wade
25/10/2018

Guildford has been labelled as the inheritance tax capital of the UK, with as many as 658 families subject to the tax in 2015/16, paying an average of £231,000 each.

In contrast, just 31 estates in Wigan, Greater Manchester were sufficiently valuable to be liable for the tax.

The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from Direct Line Insurance.

After Guildford, families living in South West London, including places like Chelsea and Wimbledon were the next most likely to pay inheritance tax (IHT).

However, the data illustrated that the highest IHT bills were paid by families living in West London, including places Kensington and Hammersmith. Those liable for IHT in this area paid over £390,000.

In order to pay IHT, families have to pass on an estate worth at least £325,000, though married or civil partners who pass on their allowance are not liable unless their estate is worth more than £650,000.

However, since 2017, there has been an additional Transferable Main Residence Allowance (TMRA), which provides extra tax relief for those passing property to their descendants. Despite this, campaigners have complained that the £325,000 allowance has been frozen since 2009, but house prices in London and the South East have continued to soar.

As a result of this, the Office for Tax Simplification is looking at the IHT rules with a report expected soon.

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