Supporting charity and reducing IHT – a match made in heaven

Gettyimages 697853664 WEB
Julia Grimes
Published: 28 Sept 2016 Updated: 28 Jan 2017

As a result of rising house and share prices, the amount of inheritance tax being paid has never been higher. Statistics revealed by the HMRC show that Inheritance Tax receipts for 2015-16 were around £4.7billion – an increase of 22% on the previous year. However, with careful planning, this bill does not need to be so painful. The figures show that in 2013-14, 38% of estates worth over £2 million paid no tax as more people used exemptions, such as the inter-spouse exemption, Business Property Relief and the lesser-known charitable gifts exemption, which was introduced in 2012.

David Smith, Director of Financial Planning at Tilney, looks at this relatively new IHT tax exemption, which enables you to reduce the amount of tax you pay upon your death, while funding a cause close to your heart.

“Let’s be honest, very few people who are potentially subject to IHT would choose to hand a large proportion of their estate to the taxman and, not everyone has the backing of a financial adviser / tax adviser to structure their affairs in an IHT ‘friendly’ manner. But, by incorporating a simple bequest to charity in your Will, you can limit the amount of IHT you pay.

“Bequests to charity are exempt from IHT, ensuring that 100% of the gift is received. However, a lesser known fact is by doing so and gifting at least 10% of your ‘net Estate’ (by net Estate that is the value of your taxable Estate less your applicable IHT nil rate band) you can in turn reduce the level of IHT from 40% to 36% on the remaining value of your taxable Estate.

Without bequest to charity

With £17,500 gift to charity

Total value of Estate



IHT Nil Rate Band



Net Estate



Gift to Charity



Taxable amount



Inheritance Tax Payable

£70,000 (40%)

£56,700 (36%)

Remaining Estate to beneficiaries



“This ultimately results in your family / beneficiaries receiving less than they would have originally, but for those with charitable intentions you can effectively gift a significant amount, at only a fraction of the effective cost. In the example above, a gift of £17,500 to charity would reduce the size of the Estate passing to remaining beneficiaries by a mere £4,200. That’s effectively a 316% uplift.

“This is by no means a way of gifting more to your children and is certainly not a tax dodge, but is instead a worthy, not to mention a highly tax efficient method, of gifting to those who really need it.”

To discuss this or any other financial planning topic please contact David Smith on 0191 269 9970/


Important information:

The value of investments, and any income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you originally invested. This press release does not constitute personal advice. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Prevailing tax rates and reliefs are dependent on your individual circumstances and are subject to change. Please note we do not provide tax advice.


This release was previously published on Tilney Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.