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UK: Can I use both my first and second husband's inheritance tax allowance?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Kyle Caldwell
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Author: Kyle Caldwell (The Telegraph)

I was widowed after 40 years of marriage. I have since re-married and want to know whether I can use both my first and second husband’s inheritance tax allowance?

The inheritance tax threshold stands at £325,000 per person. For people who are married, in a civil partnership or widowed, the threshold is currently £650,000 between them. This has been the case since 2009 and is not expected to change anytime soon.

For people who have been married more than once such as yourself it is possible to carry over any unused inheritance tax allowance.

But there is a limit – the amount inherited cannot exceed 100pc of the current inheritance tax threshold.

Mark Giddens, a partner at the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, said because of the limit there is no real benefit or loophole that can be exploited.

"Where an individual survives more than one spouse, the percentage of unused allowance at each death can be carried forward to be claimed by the individual’s executors, but the overall increase in the allowance is limited to 100pc,” Mr Giddens said.

For example, if your first husband left 80pc of his allowance unused and your second husband plans to use just half his allowance to cover bequests to his children, the additional allowance available on your death is theoretically 130pc (80pc plus 50pc). However, this will be capped at 100pc, which currently amounts to an additional £325,000”.

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