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The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system. In a letter dated 19 January 2018 the Chancellor Philip Hammond wrote to the OTS to request a review of inheritance tax (IHT) regime and asking to hear any proposals for simplification.
The Chancellor was particularly interested in focusing on the technical and administrative issues within IHT. The IHT rules have become more complicated as new provisions such as the residence nil rate band (RNRB) have been bolted on to the existing rules. In response, the OTS has published an IHT scoping document and plans to issue a call for evidence shortly.
The OTS expects to publish a report in the autumn of 2018 that:
- Provides an initial evaluation of aspects of the current IHT regime, and what they mean for taxpayers, HMRC and the Exchequer;
- Identifies opportunities for simplification of IHT supported by analysis and evidence; and
- Offers specific simplification recommendations for government to consider.
The review will look at areas of the IHT regime including gift rules, submission of IHT returns and probate issues that commonly arise. It will be interesting to see if any of the proposals put forward by the OTS find their way into the Autumn Budget later this year.