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Will OTS have the will to overhaul archaic IHT?


A review by the Office for Tax Simplification of the IHT system has been welcomed by experts. Chancellor Philip Hammond ordered the review this week, describing it as a “particularly complex” regime, and many point to the family home allowance and taper relief on gifts as particularly tricky areas for people to navigate. John Bunker of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, states that: “The review must begin with an understanding that you cannot add simplicity, rather you must remove complexity.” Stephen Herring, head of taxation at the Institute of Directors, said the review should be extended to include CGT, with a view to combining them into a “single capital tax”, while George Bull of RSM also said he feared the scope of the review would be too narrow. “It would have been a great opportunity to look at big demographic issues and say, 'What do we want this kind of tax to do as a society?' and then design a tax to achieve those effects,” he said. Nimesh Shah at Blick Rothenberg also voiced doubts that the review would bring bold reforms.

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