Inheritance tax is a topic that often raises questions and concerns among individuals in the United Kingdom. With the ever-evolving tax regulations, it’s essential to stay updated with the latest information. In this blog post, we will delve into everything you need to know about inheritance tax in the UK for the year 2023.


What is Inheritance Tax?

An inheritance tax is a tax levied on the estate (property, money, and possessions) of someone who has passed away. It applies to estates exceeding a certain threshold and is typically paid by the deceased person’s beneficiaries.


Thresholds and Rates:

As of 2023, the standard inheritance tax threshold in the UK is £325,000, commonly known as the “nil-rate band.” This means that estates valued below this threshold are exempt from inheritance tax. However, if the value of the estate exceeds this threshold, the excess will be subject to a tax rate of 40%.


Residence Nil-Rate Band:

The residence nil-rate band (RNRB) is an additional allowance introduced in 2017, aimed at reducing the inheritance tax liability for individuals passing on their main residence to direct descendants. As of 2023, the RNRB is set at £175,000. When combined with the standard nil-rate band, it provides a total tax-free threshold of £500,000.


Transferable Allowances:

In the case of married couples and civil partners, any unused portion of the nil-rate band and the RNRB can be transferred to the surviving partner’s estate. This means that the surviving partner may potentially have a higher tax-free threshold, allowing them to pass on a more substantial portion of their estate without incurring inheritance tax.

Lifetime Gifts and Exemptions:

In the UK, certain gifts made during an individual’s lifetime can affect the inheritance tax liability. Small gifts, such as birthday or wedding presents, up to £250 per recipient, are exempt from tax. Additionally, regular gifts made out of disposable income and certain types of charitable donations are also exempt.


Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs):

If you make a gift and survive for at least seven years afterward, it will not be subject to inheritance tax. However, if you pass away within seven years of making the gift, the value of the gift will be added to your estate and may be subject to tax on a sliding scale known as taper relief.



Trusts are a common tool used in estate planning to manage and distribute assets while minimizing inheritance tax. Different types of trusts have varying tax implications, and it is crucial to seek professional advice to understand the tax implications and suitability of trusts for your specific circumstances.

Professional Advice:

Navigating the intricacies of inheritance tax can be challenging, and seeking professional advice from a qualified tax advisor or estate planning specialist is highly recommended. They can help you understand the tax implications, explore available exemptions, and develop an effective plan to minimize the inheritance tax burden on your estate.


Inheritance tax in the United Kingdom can have significant implications for the distribution of your estate. Understanding the thresholds, rates, exemptions, and planning opportunities can help you make informed decisions and ensure that your loved ones are not burdened with unnecessary tax liability. Keep yourself updated with the latest tax regulations and consult a professional advisor to develop a comprehensive estate plan that aligns with your goals and circumstances. Remember, proactive planning today can make a substantial difference tomorrow.

Curious to know what your IHT Bill could be? Check out this IHT calculator here.

If you would like help or advice regarding your or a loved one’s inheritance tax queries, please get in touch with Makinson & Co today. Our professional tax experts will be happy to assist you.