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Don’t leave it too late: IHT on gifts skyrocket

With new figures revealing that the amount of inheritance tax (IHT) paid on gifts has seen a 153% increase since 2011, Clarke Willmott’s lawyers are warning people to address their financial planning now to avoid being caught out.

Data from HM Revenue and Customs shows that in the 2020/21 tax year IHT paid on gifts reached a massive £256m, while 1,300 estates were forced to pay the tax, a 120% increase since 2011.

The figures have been reported by national financial advice firm Continuum which accessed the data via a Freedom of Information request.

Paul Davies, a partner in the private capital team here at Clarke Willmott, says there are ways to mitigate the inheritance tax but people should be mindful.

He said: ”Gifts made in the seven years preceding death are taken into account when calculating the IHT due on the estate (subject to certain exemptions) and so can increase the IHT payable. In view of this rule, clients need to ensure they don’t leave it too late to make gifts if they want to mitigate the inheritance tax they will pay when they die.

“It seems to me the large increase reported is largely due to allowances not keeping pace with inflation – they’ve been frozen for many years.

“This makes it even more vitally important for people to get their affairs in order and think early about who they would like to see inherit what. Taking early legal advice means you can rest assured that your affairs are in order and your loved ones won’t be hit with an unexpected legal bill.”

Speak to a specialist

For Wills, inheritance tax planning or advice in relation to lifetime gifts, contact our private capital team on 0800 652 8025 or request a consultation.


Your key contact

Paul Davies


Paul is a Partner and head of the private capital team in Clarke Willmott’s Manchester office. Paul specialises in estate planning, Wills, & trusts for clients with complex family and finance arrangements.
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