Scottish Wills - Inheritance Tax


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Inheritance Tax

When making a will it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of inheritance tax.

Inheritance tax is a form of tax which is payable on an estate when a person dies. The tax itself, which applies at a rate of 40%, is only payable on amounts above the estate tax threshold. The current estate tax threshold is £325,000. Therefore, if your estate is worth more than this amount, inheritance tax will be payable on the balance at the rate of 40%.

In determining whether the estate tax threshold has been reached, HM Revenue & Customs will look at the value of your estate at the date of your death and will take in to account any assets that you have transferred within the seven years prior to your death. Unfortunately, when the value of a house is taken into account it is not uncommon for an estate to exceed the exempt amount.


You will be required to pay inheritance tax in the UK as follows:
If you are UK domiciled, then you will pay inheritance tax on all your assets worldwide.

If you are not UK domiciled, then you will only pay inheritance tax on your UK property.

As you will see from the foregoing, domicile is a key requirement for determining whether a person is liable to inheritance tax or not. Your country of domicile is generally regarded as the country you consider to be your home and where, if you aren’t there now, you plan to someday return.

Even if you are not domiciled in the UK, you can be deemed to be domiciled for tax purposes if:-

(i) you have been resident in the UK after 9 December 1974 and UK resident in at least 17 of the 20 tax years (or periods) up to and including the year of the transfer of the assets or death, or

(ii) you were UK domiciled after 9 December 1974 and, within three years before the transfer of the assets or death.

Where you are deemed to be domiciled in the UK, you will be required to pay tax in the normal way. Domicile is a complex matter and, as such, if you have any concerns regarding your domicile you should speak to a suitably qualified solicitor or tax advisor.




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