Residence Nil Rate Band - Q&A

Q: What is the new Residence Nil Rate Band?

A: Everyone can leave up to £325,000 of their total estate free of inheritance tax, provided this allowance hasn’t been used when making gifts, or settling assets into trust. Your estate is the total of your savings, investments, the value of the house you live in and your other assets. But starting in this tax year (2017-2018) there’s an additional inheritance tax allowance – the residence nil-rate band (RNRB) – which can be claimed by the estates of people who die after 6 April 2017.

Q: Is there a limit on the size of the estate on which the RNRB can be claimed?

A: if your total estate is worth more than £2 million, then for every £2 you are over that figure you lose £1 of the residence nil rate band allowance.

Q: When does the RNRB come into force?

A:  From 6 April 2017, it can be claimed on top of the existing nil-rate band of £325,000. It starts at £100,000 per person and will increase annually by £25,000 every April until 2020, when the £175,000 maximum is reached. Adding this to the couple’s nil-rate band equals £1 million per couple. From April 2021, it will increase in line with inflation every year.

Q: Are there provisions for those who have already sold their home?

An estate may still be able to claim the residence nil-rate allowance even if they’ve already sold their home - for example, because they are in residential care or living with their children. If their home was sold after 8 July 2015, and they plan on leaving the proceeds to their direct descendants, then there are provisions in place that will allow their estate to claim the new allowance.

Q: What are the other restrictions on the RNRB?

A: It will apply where the person who has died owned a property that was at one time their home. It will also only apply if the property is being left to the deceased’s direct descendants (children or grandchildren).