All 2 entries tagged Inheritance Tax

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October 12, 2007

Inheritance tax (again)

Follow-up to Conservative conference – Inheritence Tax from The International Current Affairs Society

Good article in the G2 today that supports my point of view.

There is the assumption, contrary to economic history and most current predictions, that house prices will just keep on booming and therefore make even the most modest of homes liable for inheritance tax. There is the allegation that the levy is a form of “double taxation” – well, so is VAT, and anyway, money earned on property is untaxed. There is the unlikely assumption that people will not downshift to a smaller place, or see their savings swallowed up paying for their own care in their old age – as Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the thinktank the Institute for Fiscal Studies, says: “Your wealth at 50 or 60, when it’s at its peak, will not be the same as your wealth when you’re 80 or 90.” You could even question the notion that inheritance tax can be called a “death tax” at all, when it is not paid by the unfortunate dead but by the fortunate living. Emmerson, who is studiedly neutral on the question of inheritance tax, runs through these arguments and counter-arguments and then pauses a little wearily. “Maybe it’s just a badly understood tax,” he says.

October 01, 2007

Conservative conference – Inheritence Tax

The Conservatives tried to grab headlines today to support their flagging pre-election campaign through, primarily ‘aspiration taxes’ (inheritance tax to you and me).

It is very easy to get into arguments about the moral standing of taxing the estates of the deceased, and one that isn’t easily finished. To me, it’s the prime example of where taxes should be used, but that’s beside my main point.

Instead of waffling on about how the government is taking advantage of the hard-working ‘middle englander’ and how the Conservative will come to the rescue, we should tell it how it is. This would be a tax cut for the top 6% most priveleged members of our society.

It is no good talking of how increasing house prices will mean Joe Public will now be facing a charge, since this is simply not the case. The housing boom has near enough peaked, in some areas starting to reverse, and still only 6% of estates pay the taxes.

If the people to whom inheritance tax is a travesty against hard work accepts this reality, I am very willing to have a discussion, but otherwise there is not much point.

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