If your assets are in excess of £325,000.00 (the present Inheritance Tax threshold) your estate when you die will be taxed at 40% on the value of your assets over the threshold (unless you leave your assets to your spouse or charity).

You would think that an easy way to reduce that IHT liability would be to give assets that you no longer need away. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that, as giving something away does not always remove its value from your estate. The usual rule is that you need to live for 7 years after making the gift.

However, there are certain gifts that can be made during life time and which are immediately exempt from IHT. These include gifts not exceeding £3,000.00 per tax year, certain wedding gifts, any number of small gifts of up to £250.00 (to different people).

Another useful exemption is “gifts made from income”. If you receive more income than you need for your day to day living then you can make unlimited regular gifts out of that income. Such as monthly or annual gifts to your children. But these gifts must be out of income and not capital.

This is just a brief outline of the IHT exempt gifts that can be made during your lifetime and is intended as a general guide only. For more details as to how you can take advantage of any of these exemptions and making gifts in general please contact Lesley Walker on 01264 721780 or email lesleyw@staging.talbotwalker.co.uk