Following a Freedom of Information request by Direct Line, Guildford in Surrey was dubbed the Inheritance Tax capital of the UK after it was revealed that as many as 658 families from the town southwest of London were subject to the tax between 2015 and 2016. On average, each family is said to have paid £231,000 per estate a total of just under £152 million, more than anywhere else in the country.
The report also went on to break down the average IHT into regions, where Scotland came out middle of the board: 6th out of 11 UK regions. Scotland was recorded paying IHT on 1,194 estates. This was compared with the highest –Greater London with 5,294 estates paying IHT – and the lowest- Northern Ireland with only 215 IHT-paying estates.
Alongside Guildford, other areas where families pay high IHT include Southwest London, Brighton, Kingston Upon Thames, Reading and Bristol. The data also showed that families in Kensington and Hammersmith were amongst the highest billed with an average of £390,000. In contrast the lowest billed in the country were in Watford, Dundee, Inverness, Western Central London, Motherwell and Wigan where only 31 estates were liable for IHT.
In order for a household to be liable to pay Inheritance Tax, the value of their estate needs to be calculated as being worth a minimum of £325,000. Married couples and civil partnerships are only liable for IHT if their estate is worth a combined amount of £650,000.
Anyone concerned about a large IHT bill should seek professional advice.