Autumn Statement 2016: Will our wishes come true for private clients?

By: Helen Bunker

In Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement, we await to see how he plans to shape the economy and tax system, whilst balancing the government's spending. Will this be a light touch statement or are we in for a raft of further changes? How will the changes impact individual taxpayers?

In the run up to the Autumn Statement, Blake Morgan considers what we hope to see covered.

Widen the beneficiaries of the Residence Nil Rate Band

Whilst we would welcome the new IHT allowance to be simplified, we would settle for it to simply be fairer. Thanks to the press, many clients already think that they have a '£1m Nil Rate Band' when in reality they have a £325k allowance presently and it starts to ratchet up from April 2017 provided that certain criteria are met. By April 2020, they may have a £500k allowance but only as between spouses or civil partners, only if there is a main residence (or it has been disposed of in certain circumstances) and the total estate doesn't exceed a certain limit and only if they are leaving to their 'children'. The exemption is designed to benefit those wishing to pass wealth to their dependents but why does it only apply to those who are married or in civil partnerships and only to their children rather than any other chosen beneficiary? We would urge Mr Hammond to rethink this.

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