Inheritance tax rules a "huge" benefit to married couples

Rules on inheritance tax (IHT) are of huge benefit for married couples – especially when taking into consideration Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget report earlier this week – it has been asserted.

A firm of independent financial advisers (IFA) has stated that while married couples could already use will trust planning to let a surviving spouse inherit the nil rate band from their husband or wife with regard to IHT, the government’s announcement means that such couples no longer have to actively do this.

Financial consultant with Best Advice Financial Planning Kelvin Lillywhite asserted that other benefits included ‘bed and spousing’ available on capital gains tax – meaning that individuals can transfer assets to their partner without liability to capital gains tax.

In the 2007 pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review, chancellor Alistair Darling stated that if a person’s tax-free allowance is not used on their death, it can be transferred to their surviving civil partner or spouse so that they can benefit from double the tax-free allowance.