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Elderly are confused by IHT reforms

The Government is being called on to cut the red tape on inheritance tax to help widowed clients who want to use their deceased spouse’s nil-rate band.

Skipton Financial Services says recent IHT reforms which allow married couples and civil partners to share each other’s nil-rate bands have left many elderly widowed clients confused about how to claim the unused element.

On death, if a spouse does not use up the nil-rate entitlement of £312,000, the surviving spouse can use this in addition to their own entitlement, allowing them to pass on an estate worth up to £624,000 without paying tax.

Skipton spokesman Matthew Cox says: “Any customers who believed the changes had made it easy for them to claim part or all of their deceased partner’s nil-rate band are sadly mistaken, given the amount of red tape and administration hindering such claims. We would urge the Government to remove the hurdles and simplify this process to make it easier for couples who were married or in civil partnerships to claim what is rightfully theirs.”


Mena streets

Economic news might seem relentlessly negative in the West but many emerging economies are still enjoying strong growth. The Middle East and North Africa are among the fastest-growing areas and have benefited from surging oil prices. Demand for energy is likely to remain high as countries such as China turn themselves into industrial powerhouses, so we expect the resource-rich Mena economies to continue to receive this windfall for many years.


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