I expect that you’re quite busy finishing off your Autumn statement. Could I beg a favour, and ask you to look at your predecessor’s proposals to introduce a main residence nil rate band for Inheritance Tax purposes.
In a nutshell, it is over complicated, discriminatory, and potentially problematic in certain circumstances. It seems that if you are married, or in a civil partnership, and you have a property, and children, then you will benefit from an enhanced nil rate band over the next few years. Oh, but only if you leave said property to a direct descendent. So, not only is the government now discriminating against the unmarried and childless, it is telling people how to write their Wills. Is that appropriate? I think not.
And it seems that for these purposes a direct descendent may not actually be a direct descendent, it may be an adopted, step or foster descendent. Needless to say, if ones estate is deemed to be too big, the “benefit” is lost.
I understand that there exists an Office for Tax Simplification. I wonder what they do. Perhaps they could have a quick look at this, it would not take up too much of their valuable time to simplify this. I would suggest that this scheme be abandoned, and we go back to simply increasing everyone’s nil rate band. That seems to me to be fair, which would appeal to the P.M., and to be simple, which would justify the existence of the O.T.S.
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