The Telegraph has launched a campaign to scrap inheritance tax, which is backed by dozens of Conservative MPs.
Our readers have overwhelmingly voiced their support, sharing their stories about how inheritance tax has wreaked havoc on their lives. Here’s what they told us.
Kevin Pigden, 77, Colchester
Mr Pidgen fears inheritance tax is preventing him from selling his home and moving closer to his family in Sheffield.
“I’ve worked since the age of 15, saving along the way and hoping to help my family. I live in a flat with a value of around £500,000 with savings of approximately £400,000 with a hefty inheritance tax bill looming.”
Mr Pigden worries about losing tax relief available for homes worth at least £500,000 if he downsizes.
“I’m trapped in my home, not wanting my family to lose the £175,000 allowance. This means I can’t move nearer to my son in Sheffield and I’m trapped in Essex. Totally unfair.”
Robert Dews, 76, Leicester
Mr Dews has faced a string of delays trying to administer his aunt’s estate and trying to get probate after she died in May last year.
“I had valued the estate by August and applied for an HMRC reference number to pay the IHT. This took 12 weeks to arrive. I sent the application for letters of administration to the Probate Office on January 28 2023. It took 11 weeks to be acknowledged and entered on the system on May 4 2023.
“I am assured that I should have the Letters of Administration by the end of September.
“It’s been more than a year since she died. When you’ve paid a fee it’s just unreasonable. If they’re taking billions a year in inheritance tax it’s unreasonable that you shouldn’t get an efficient service.”
Derek Flint, 55, Lytham in Lancashire
Mr Flint is worried about inheritance tax because of soaring house prices
“We returned to the UK in 2020, after 23 years on the Isle of Man, where as well as much lower income tax, we were not burdened with the spectre of either inheritance tax or capital gains tax. Their version of Stamp Duty was also considerably lower.
“I knew a lot of people who had moved over to that jurisdiction to, amongst other things, protect their personal wealth with regard to the inheritance tax rules in the UK.
“Our estate is likely to grow to the point where tax planning is going to have to be considered if we are going to stay put.
“It’s certainly made me think quite strongly about, how have we benefited from moving back to the UK?
“It’s another hidden cost for middle income earners, those that have been battered from just about every direction and are unfairly carrying a large part of the burden.
“When I do finally pack in work in a few years time, is this the place to stay? I think more and more people are asking that question.”
Kathryn Price, 46, Tyne and Wear
Ms Price said her father was faced with a bureaucratic nightmare when his mother died two years ago.
“My dad recently had to sort out my grandmother’s estate. HMRC demanded an enormous amount of money up front - but most of the money was in shares, which were inflated at the time of death. Soon after, many of these dropped significantly in price, especially the one which was the biggest part of the estate. HMRC agreed to refund the difference, but then are refusing to hand the money over, for no obvious reason. It’s been incredibly complicated and stressful for my dad.
“Thing is, a large part of this money overall has been allocated to family members – two of whom have significant learning disabilities. Two teenagers, my daughter and my nephew, who will never be able to earn any money to speak about. Life is never a level playing field – but is this money really better in the hands of a wasteful, profligate government, or in the hands of those who will be lovingly caring for disabled relatives for the rest of their lives.”
Alan Stedall, 76, Birmingham
Mr Stedall said his daughters co-own a home but have fallen on hard times and would not be able to pay inheritance tax if one of them dies.
“On the death of the first daughter, inheritance tax will force the surviving daughter to sell up her home to pay inheritance tax.
“This is bizarre, since any other unrelated two individuals of the same or different sexes living together can avoid inheritance tax by choosing either to marry or enter into a civil partnership.
“However, as siblings, neither marriage nor a civil partnership is open to our two daughters. Hence they face the inevitable prospect of the grieving, surviving daughter being rendered homeless to meet the demands of inheritance tax. How can this exceptionally cruel application of inheritance tax be considered fair?”
How has inheritance tax impacted you? Do you have a story for our campaign? Email firstname.lastname@example.org