A new Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) will be introduced from April 2017.

The residence nil-rate band introduces a new £175,000 per person transferable allowance. It applies to married couples and civil partners when their main residence is passed down to children after their death. This allowance is in addition to the existing £325,000 per person Inheritance Tax threshold.

The allowance will be phased in from 2017-18 at £100,000, increasing to £125,000 in 2018-19, £150,000 in 2019-20 and £175,000 in 2020-21. The allowance will be available to the deceased person’s children or grandchildren. There will be a tapered withdrawal of the additional nil-rate band for estates with a net value of more than £2m. This will be at a withdrawal rate of £1 for every £2 over this threshold.

How This Affects Your Property

There are also special measures in place that ensure there is no disincentive to downsize or sell a home from the date the measure was announced. I.e. if the downsizing results in excess cash being within the estate then this cash will be treated as if it were part of the main residence.

Taken together this means that by 2020-21, parents will be able to pass on property worth up to £1 million free of Inheritance Tax to their direct descendants. From 2021/22 onwards the RNRB is due to increase annually in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

To qualify for the RNRB:

  • The deceased’s estate must include a residential property or qualify under the downsizing rules.
  • The RNRB is transferable where the second spouse or civil partner dies after 5 April 2017. It’s irrespective when the first of the couple died.
  • If there is more than one residential property the personal representatives can nominate one to qualify.
  • The property must have been a residence of the deceased. A buy-to-let property would not qualify for the relief.
  • The property must be left to a direct descendant. This can be a step-child, adopted child or foster child, or lineal descendant of the deceased.

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