Nil rate band

By Tolley

The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Nil rate band
  • Nil rate band (NRB) ― principles
  • Transfer of unused NRB
  • Calculation of the transferable NRB
  • Potential complications
  • Claiming the transferable NRB

Nil rate band (NRB) ― principles

Inheritance tax is charged at the rate of 40% on estates at death or at half that rate, 20%, on chargeable lifetime transfers. The NRB is an important relief which assigns a rate of 0% to the lower portion of an estate or transfer.

IHTA 1984, Sch 1

Inheritance tax only becomes payable if the chargeable transfer exceeds the NRB in force at the time the transfer is made. In order to determine whether a transfer exceeds the NRB, it is added to the transferor’s previous chargeable transfers in the preceding seven years. This is known as the cumulation principle.

See Example 1.

The NRB is currently £325,000. This threshold has applied from 6 April 2009 and it is intended to remain at that level until 5 April 2021. Thresholds in previous years are as follows:

6 April 20085 April 2009£312,000
6 April 20075 April 2008£300,000

More on IHT reliefs: