HMRC and its bosses at the Treasury are often the target for criticism, and usually rightly so.

However todays report in the Telegraph, Crackdown on 7-year inheritance tax gift rule is a little unfair. It really is a rant against IHT, dressed up as journalism, and then meekly explaining the substance – HMRC are following the rule book and expecting tax payers to (i.e. gifts made within 7 years of death need to be accounted for in calculating Inheritance Tax).

Journalistic licence I suppose.

By the way if gifts within 7 years of death worries you, remember the following don’t count:

– Gifts of £3,000 pa
– Gifts of business or agricultural property (in some cases – restrictions do apply)
– Certain gifts on marriage (depending how close you are to the newly weds)
– Gifts which are “normal expenditure out of income” (this is not always easy to quantify, but exempts a lot of small, and sometimes not so small, gifts)