We have something to thank the politicians for; their talk about dementia tax has encouraged people to think about the value of their homes and how much they may need to pay for long-term care. This provides a good opportunity to discuss IHT planning, as we explain below. We also have tips on avoiding VAT surcharges, and a warning about cyber-attacks on your firm’s systems.
Below we share just part of one of the above 3 tax tips – see the side boxes on this page to learn how you could subscribe to receive the full 3 tax tips every week.
People don’t want to think about their death, or the IHT potentially payable, but they will consider the cost of the care they may need, as that is an issue that many have addressed for an older relative. The talk of “dementia tax” to pay for social care may also prompt people to think about their net wealth.
The retired population is comprised of two distinct groups; those who are active and healthy, who may be caring for an older relative, and those who have difficulties undertaking daily tasks and who need some form of care or assistance. The ageUK briefing (see below) provides an excellent summary of the issues to consider.
The dilemma for the fit and active group is that they know they may need care in the future, but they don’t know when, and for how long. They may wish to undertake IHT planning, but they also need to retain access to sufficient investments which could be used to pay for care.
The solution for this group can be to make investments which qualify for an IHT exemption using business or agricultural relief (HMRC have dropped “property” when referring to BPR and APR). Shares quoted on the AIM and shares issued under the EIS or SEIS will qualify for IHT business relief. There are a number of companies which market investments in these areas as IHT shelters.
Take the opportunity to talk to your clients about “dementia tax” (not a real tax), and introduce facts about IHT (a real tax), including planning strategies to cope with both IHT and potential care needs. You need to be registered with the FCA to recommend the purchase of any particular investment product, so be careful how you frame advice in this area.