Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax thresholds – present day back to 18 March 1986
From To Nil rate threshold
6 April 2009 to-date £325,000
6 April 2008 5 April 2009 £312,000
6 April 2007 5 April 2008 £300,000
6 April 2006 5 April 2007 £285,000
6 April 2005 5 April 2006 £275,000
6 April 2004 5 April 2005 £263,000
6 April 2003 5 April 2004 £255,000
6 April 2002 5 April 2003 £250,000
6 April 2001 5 April 2002 £242,000
6 April 2000 5 April 2001 £234,000
6 April 1999 5 April 2000 £231,000
6 April 1998 5 April 1999 £223,000
6 April 1997 5 April 1998 £215,000
6 April 1996 5 April 1997 £200,000
6 April 1995 5 April 1996 £154,000
10 March 1992 5 April 1995 £150,000
6 April 1991 9 March 1992 £140,000
6 April 1990 5 April 1991 £128,000
6 April 1989 5 April 1990 £118,000
15 March 1988 5 April 1989 £110,000
17 March 1987 14 March 1988 £90,000
18 March 1986 16 March 1987 £71,000

Inheritance Tax exemptions and reliefs

Sometimes, even if your estate is over the threshold, you can pass on assets without having to pay Inheritance Tax. Examples include:

  • Spouse or civil partner exemption. Your estate usually doesn’t owe Inheritance Tax on anything you leave to a spouse or civil partner who has their permanent home in the UK – nor on gifts you make to them in your lifetime – even if the amount is over the threshold.
  • Charity exemption. Any gifts you make to a ‘qualifying’ charity – during your lifetime or in your will – will be exempt from Inheritance Tax (see more in the link below).
  • Potentially exempt transfers. If you survive for seven years after making a gift to someone, the gift is generally exempt from Inheritance Tax, no matter what the value.
  • Annual exemption. You can give up to £3,000 each year, either as a single gift or as several gifts adding up to that amount – you can also use your unused allowance from the previous year but you use the current year’s allowance first.
  • Small gift exemption. You can make small gifts of up to £250 to as many individuals as you like tax-free.
  • Wedding and civil partnership gifts. Gifts to someone getting married or registering a civil partnership are exempt up to a certain amount.
  • Business, Woodland, Heritage and Farm Relief. If the deceased owned a business, farm, woodland or National Heritage property, some relief from Inheritance Tax may be available.