Book Review: Inheritance Tax – Lifetime Transfers And The Death Estate

 In Book Reviews for Private Client practitioners, Tax

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by Megan Saksida

published by Claritax books 1st Edition

LawSkills Book Reviews for private client practitionersPurpose

The aim of the author in writing this book is to take some of the complexity of the inheritance tax (IHT) provisions and to break down the rules to their simplest components in order to produce clarity. The author has been a professional accounting and tax lecturer for many years and seeks to ensure that the concepts and calculations of the current system of IHT will be accessible to all practitioners.
The focus of the book is on IHT compliance and planning for lifetime transfers and the death estate. It touches on trusts but does not cover this subject in depth.


The book is arranged over 30 chapters covering:
Introduction to IHT; exempt transfers in life; excluded property; relief for business property; agricultural property relief; fall-in-value relief; the nil rate band; the interaction between CGT & IHT; making a lifetime transfer; the residence NRB; lifetime transfers at death; BPR & APR on death; valuation of assets in the death estate; post mortem reliefs; quick succession relief; other exemptions & reliefs for transfers upon death; gifting to charity; calculating the death estate; gifts with reservation of benefit; pre-owned asset tax; domicile and deemed domicile status; instruments of variation and disclaimers; close companies; spreading provisions; woodlands; grossing and double grossing; heritage property; tax avoidance; IHT administration and payment of IHT.
The content is comprehensive.

Structure & Layout

Each chapter is arranged across a series of numbered points with each numbered paragraph having both legislative references and HMRC manual references, where appropriate. The latter is a useful touch and aids the practical application of the content by reference to HMRC’s view of the legislation.


Throughout the book there are numerous understandable examples to illustrate a point being made which aids understanding. There is a modest list of cases; a list of primary legislation and a table of statutory instruments. There are no checklists or completed IHT forms used to illustrate examples.

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Clarity & readability

Having had cause to research a number of IHT points recently the book provided useful answers to the questions investigated. The references and examples were particularly useful in applying the law to practical matters that arise in the office when dealing with IHT.

Relevance to practitioners

This is a book which deserves its place on a number of practitioner’s bookshelves: probate practitioners will welcome it to help with the estate on death and the number of difficult issues which crop up occasionally and which therefore usually require the practitioner to do some research like double grossing up; the tax practitioner who advises on both lifetime planning and the death estate will want a copy; the Will drafter who needs to understand aspects of IHT to produce an effective Will should be interested particularly in the parts on the NRB and the RNRB, and accountants and solicitors who generally advise on IHT will welcome a comprehensive single-volume as the first port of call to turn to when a query arises.

(The book is available from Claritax Books)

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