Probate fees: Is this the next ‘tax’ rise to be removed?
Following the Government’s climb down regarding a proposed increase in National Insurance for the self-employed, we wonder if the controversial proposal to dramatically increase Probate fees with effect from May 1st 2017 will be the next one to go?
One Conservative backbencher said MPs “are just waking up to” the consequences of the new probate fees, which “they see as a death tax by another name”.
Since 2014 if an estate is less than £5,000 no Probate fee is charged. For estates of £5,000 and over there is a flat Probate fee of £155 if the grant is sought by a solicitor and £215 if the grant is sought by an individual. The current proposals seek to dramatically increase fees. For estates between £500,000 and £1 million the fee increases to £4,000 (an increase of 1760.47%!). For estates over £2 million the fee increases by 9202.33%!
The Ministry of Justice said: “We are introducing a fairer banded system of probate fees which will mean more than half of estates will pay nothing. Fees are necessary to maintain an accessible, world-leading justice system which puts the needs of victims and vulnerable people first.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than three-quarters of the 829 responses to a government consultation on the fee rise were opposed to it.
If you wish to explore ways to reduce your current Inheritance Tax liability and also how to potentially reduce this proposed charge, please contact us by calling 01825 76 33 66 or complete the contact form to book a consultation.