Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Easing the British Death Tax

After World War II the stately homes of England (think Downton Abbey) took a heavy hit from harsh death taxes. Many were dismantled, given to the government or converted into tourist attractions.

By the harsh standards of fifty years ago, today's UK inheritance tax is fairly tepid. By our American standards, it's still oppressive.  We can leave well over $5 million tax free. Brits are limited, at current exchange rate, to about $460,000.

The UK tax picture lightens a little next year, with the addition of a "family home allowance." With two inheritance-tax exemptions plus the new allowance, married couples will be able to leave about $1.4 million tax free.

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