On the 14th September 2015 the UK Government proposed amendments to the Finance Bill 2015 to clarify in relation to trusts following the introduction of a residence nil-rate tax band to the inheritance tax.
The original amendment was to allow each individual an extra £100,000 nil-rate band rate to set off against the value of a residential property in the 2017-2018 tax year, which will rise to £175,000 in 2020-2021. However, as this amendment dealt exclusively with lineal descendants only, it raised numerous questions when the property is left in a trust.
The new amendment to clause 9 of the Finance Bill 2015 provides that, where the deceased had a qualifying interest in possession in residential property, the lineal descendant does not inherit it unless they became entitled to an absolute interest or a qualifying interest in possession upon death. Therefore if the descendant is treated as being beneficially entitled under section 49 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 then they will be just as entitled to claim the new residence nil-rate band as a descendant who becomes entitled to an absolute interest.
Therefore, persons who have residential property currently in a trust should seek advice if they are at all concerned by the above amendments effect on their estate as many trusts such as discretionary trusts are established specifically to separate assets from the individuals estate and therefore could raise questions in relation to whom is beneficially entitled and therefore the appropriate provisions should be put into place prior to death.