Charity representatives praise proposals for inheritance tax reform

28 Nov 2018 News

HMRC building

Fergus Burnett

The Office for Tax Simplification has proposed changes to the administration of inheritance tax, which have been welcomed by charity representatives.

The OTS has proposed regulating the will-writing market and digitising the inheritance tax process, as well as simplifying the forms executors must fill out. It has not so far proposed any changes in the structure of inheritance tax itself.

At present, gifts in wills make up 15 per cent of all charity income, and are exempt from inheritance tax.

Rob Cope, director of Remember a Charity, which campaigns for more gifts in wills, said: “Ultimately, a more straightforward inheritance tax system should make it easier for people’s estates to be handled promptly, efficiently and for relevant discounts or exemptions on charitable wills to be applied. 

“We welcome steps to reduce the administrative burden for everyone; the public, professional advisers and executors, which of course includes many charities too.

“The current lack of regulation in the will-writing marketplace has seen growing disparity in the way that wills are written and an increase in disputes over charitable estates. With this in mind, the need for clear and consistent processes has never been greater. 

“The public needs to have choice about who and what they support from their will and the confidence to ensure that their final wishes will indeed be met.”

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