There are lots of things you can do to save inheritance tax.
IHT only applies if the pension company has to pay the value of your scheme to your estate, in which case it becomes like any other asset, but generally the pension pot is held in a discretionary trust, which means it isn’t taxed on death.
You can now nominate anyone not just dependents to be the beneficiary.
Potentially Exempt Transfers and Lifetime Gifts
The original owner must live for 7 years after giving the gift. Any gifts made less than 7 years before death count towards the Inheritance Tax threshold (£325,000). They count towards the threshold before the rest of the estate.
If the donor gave away more than £325,000 of gifts in their final 7 years, tax is due on everything over that threshold.
Gifts made 3 to 7 years before the death
The rate of tax is reduced for gifts over the threshold made between 3 and 7 years before the person died. This is known as ‘taper relief’.
The estate doesn’t pay Inheritance Tax on up to £3,000 worth of gifts given away by the deceased in each tax year (6 April to 5 April). This is called the ‘annual exemption’.
Leftover annual exemption can be carried over from one tax year to the next, but the maximum exemption is £6,000.
Certain gifts don’t count towards the annual exemption and no Inheritance Tax is due on them, eg gifts worth up to £250 and wedding gifts.
There’s no Inheritance Tax on a wedding or civil partnership gift worth up to:
- £5,000 given to a child
- £2,500 given to a grandchild or great-grandchild
- £1,000 given to anyone else
The gift must be given on or shortly before the date of the wedding or civil partnership ceremony.
Gifts up to £250
There’s no Inheritance Tax on individual gifts worth up to £250. You can give as many people as you like up to £250 each in any one tax year.
You can’t give someone another £250 if you’ve given them a gift using a different exemption, eg the £3,000 annual exemption.
If you give someone more than £250 in a tax year, the whole amount counts – the first £250 is not exempt.