IHT receipts surge to £4.6bn in first seven months of 2023/24 fiscal year – HMRC

HMRC’s latest update on Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts show that £4.6 billion was collected through the first seven months of the 2023/24 Financial Year – a 12% increase on the same period in the previous year (£4.1 billion through the first seven months) with the tax likely to raise yet another record annual total for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There has been speculation that Jeremy Hunt would use The Budget to propose a cut to Inheritance Tax, but latest rumours suggest any changes will be delayed until the Spring.

Inheritance Tax is not widely understood as research from Just Group reveals the majority (59%) of retirees over 55 don’t know what the threshold is for the value of an estate to pay Inheritance Tax and a further 50% of this age group don’t have a clear understanding of the rules. Stephen Lowe, group communications director at retirement specialist Just Group, commented:

“As figures start to become available for the second half of the financial year, it is becoming increasingly clear that Inheritance Tax is on course to hit a record annual total for the third year in a row.
At the current rate of tax collection, Inheritance Tax will raise over £7.8 billion for the Treasury, far surpassing the OBR’s estimate for this year of £7.2 billion as well as last year’s all-time high of £7.1 billion. It’s a useful source of revenue for the government, and if rumours are to be believed, tomorrow’s Autumn Statement will see any potential cut to Inheritance Tax delayed until the Spring.

Only a very small proportion of households are impacted by IHT, but the tax continues to raise more revenue for the government, so it bites deep on those estates affected. Our research suggests there is a low level of understanding around the Inheritance Tax rules and thresholds, with the majority unaware of how much their estate must be worth to incur a tax charge.”

Commenting on IHT receipts rising by £500 million, John Glencross, CEO and Co-Founder of Calculus, said:

“Inheritance tax – or IHT – receipts continue to follow an upward trajectory, sustained by the prolonged freeze on IHT thresholds until at least April 2028. Tomorrow’s Autumn statement, which might include a reduction in IHT and a broader phase-out, has the potential to significantly shape the strategies and approaches intermediaries use when interacting with clients about estate planning.

One strategy for advisers and investors to consider in mitigating IHT is to invest in an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fund, which grants inheritance tax relief, contingent upon holding the shares for a minimum of two years and at the time of death. At Calculus, our EIS Fund offers investors the opportunity to not only benefit from a diversified and tax-efficient portfolio, but also to support innovative UK companies with a robust societal purpose and impact.”

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