This Content Was Last Updated on February 9, 2017 by Jessica Garbett


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)