Govt pulls back on tackling deeds of variation ‘abuse’

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The Government has decided against further action into whether deeds of variation are being used to avoid tax.

Deeds of variation allow a beneficiary of a will or an intestacy to redirect part or all of the estate to another person.

If made within two years of death a deed of variation can result in a change to the amount of inheritance tax or capital gains tax due.

In the March Budget the Government announced it would review the use of deeds of variation for tax purposes, and in the July Budget launched a call for evidence on how often deeds of variation are used to reduce tax and in which circumstances.

The call for evidence closed last month. The Government now says it will not be limiting the use of deeds of variation at this stage.

In the Autumn Statement full documents, the Government says: “Following the review announced at March Budget 2015, the Government will not introduce new restrictions on how deeds of variation can be used for tax purposes but will continue to monitor their use.”