The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death. The RNRB effectively increases your existing £325,000 inheritance tax nil-rate band.
The RNRB is being introduced in stages, the threshold is currently £150,000 and will increase to £175,000 in 2020-21. After this, the limit is set to increase in line with the Consumer Prices Index. Any unused portion of the RNRB can be transferred to a surviving spouse or partner in a similar way to the existing NRB.
The allowance is available to the deceased person's children or grandchildren. Taken together with the current Inheritance Tax limit of £325,000 this means that by 2020-21, parents will be able to pass on property worth up to £1 million free of Inheritance Tax to their direct descendants.
There is a tapering of the RNRB for estates worth more than £2 million even where the family home is left to direct descendants. The additional threshold will be reduced by £1 for every £2 that the estate is worth more than the £2 million taper threshold. This can result in the full amount of the RNRB being tapered away.
If your estate exceeds these extended nil-rate band limits, you should consider a formal Inheritance Tax planning exercise. There are ways to mitigate liabilities and we can advise.