Everything you need to know about the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)

In the Summer Budget the Chancellor announced his intention to introduce a new relief for Inheritance Tax (IHT) declaring there would be ‘no more IHT on the family home’. 

This was a bold statement and, as is always the case with these things, it was necessary to consult the detailed legislation to see just how this new relief would work.

To recap, prior to the introduction of this new RNRB, there were two types of Nil Rate Band (NRB):

  • The ‘ordinary’ NRB, currently £325,000 per person which is available to offset against lifetime gifts and death estates
  • The ‘transferable’ NRB - that amount of NRB left unused on first death which can be passed to a surviving spouse/civil partner

A married couple/civil partnership would therefore only have to pay IHT on death if the value of their combined estates exceeded £650,000. The new RNRB would effectively increase this amount to £1m. Here’s how it works:

From April 2017 the new RNRB will be phased in giving each person an additional £100,000. This will increase over a four year period so that by 2020/21 each individual will have an additional £175,000 to add to the existing £325,000 NRB giving a total relief of £500,000 each.

In order to qualify for the RNRB a number of conditions must be met including:

  • The estate must include a ‘qualifying’ residential property (a property that the deceased has lived in some point during ownership but you do not have to be residing in the property at the time of death to qualify)
  • The property must pass to a direct lineal descendant - a child, grandchild or remoter issue including step, adopted or fostered children
  • The overall value of the estate cannot exceed £2m or the relief is abated by £1 for every £2 over this limit. The £2m is calculated by reference to assets less liabilities but does not include valuable reliefs such as Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief.

The RNBR can be transferred to a surviving spouse/civil partner to the extent that it has not been utilised on first death (it is even possible to do this where first death was pre April 2017).

The new RNRB could therefore prove to be a very useful additional relief saving couples up to £140,000 in tax. There are also a number of planning opportunities for people with more than one residential property or where the estate exceeds the £2m threshold.

For more detailed information, or to find out how best to arrange your affairs to maximise the relief please get in touch with one of our Tax Consultants who would be more than happy to help you.

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