Arriving at the amount of Inheritance Tax payable

To arrive at the amount of Inheritance Tax potentially payable when valuing your estate, you need to include assets (property, possessions, investments and money) you own and certain assets you have given away during the last seven years. The valuation must accurately reflect what those assets would reasonably receive in the current open market.


The valuation process

This involves taking the value of all the assets owned together with the value of:

- your share of any assets that are owned jointly with someone else

- any assets that are held in a trust, from which you have the right to benefit

- any assets which you have given away, but in which you kept an interest – for instance, if you gave a house to your children but still lived in it rent-free

- certain assets that you have given away within the last seven years

Next, from the total value above, deduct everything that is owed, for example:

- any outstanding mortgages

- other loans

- unpaid bills

The value of all the assets, less the deductible debts, gives you the estate value. The threshold above which the value of estates is taxed at 40% is currently £325,000 (frozen until 5 April 2019).

Married couples (or registered civil partners) can add up their combined estates and reduce this by two allowances of £325,000 before applying the 40% rate to estimate their potential Inheritance Tax liability.

This is based on our understanding of current tax legislation. Whether any tax will be payable, at what level it is charged and whether you qualify for tax relief will depend upon individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.