According to figures released yesterday, the number of UK deaths resulting in an IHT charge has been steadily rising since 2009/10 but between 2015/16 and 2016/17 they shot up by 3,600 to 28,100.
HMRC puts the increase in estates falling into the scope of IHT down to rising asset values, in particular in relation to property, and the freezing of the tax-free nil rate band threshold at £325,000. However, the total is still only 4.6% of total deaths. And the average amount of tax they paid in 2018/19 was £179,000.
The figures also reveal that only 3% of estates falling into the scope of IHT in 2016/17 were valued at £1m net or more and they accounted for 72% – or £3.4bn – of the total IHT take of £5.1bn.
Most of the value in this group of estates is held in securities and UK residential buildings, with 8,820 estates accounting for 23% (£18.6bn) of all gross assets. At the other end of the scale, for net estates of less than £1m, the value is largely invested in residential property (£36.7bn) and cash (£14.9bn).