Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Taxed after death

More families dragged into Inheritance Tax

In a town like South Shields with it's roots firmly entwined around the old terraced houses of the industrial revolution, it's shipyards and coal mines, with a long socialist tradition, one wouldn't expect the subject of conversation to turn to Inheritance Tax. However since the late 1960's there has been a surge in owner occupancies and the percentage of homeowners in the town continues to grow, assisted by the recent growth in property prices.

If you were asked to suggest which streets contained property worth 2m. pounds, you would possibly come up with suggestions like North Avenue, Central Avenue, Cleadon Towers, or Westoe Village, South Shields. It might surprise you to know that the house pictured is in Cleaside Avenue, just off Sunderland Road, it is little more than a bungalow with a few added extras yet is up for sale for a cool 2.5 million pounds! Why do I tell you this? Because it illustrates in a nice simple easy to understand way that there are thousands of properties in this town liable for a big payment to the taxman when their owners pass the property on to the family after their death. Death Duties and Inheritance Tax kick in at a trigger point of only 285,000 pounds, almost 41% of homeowners are now liable for these additional taxes because of Gordon Brown's failures to raise the threshold in line with house prices! Yet Scottish Widows, the investment firm, reckons only 34% were liable 12 months ago.

The Chancellor, unfortunately, is unlikely to make changes before he becomes Prime Minister and even afterwards he is not going to encourage a new Chancellor to raise the thresholds. Why? Because Gordon Brown has built up massive debts for U.K. Ltd and he needs a strong tax revenue to help service them - that's why!


The Daily Mail

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