Fresh U-turn as Government ditches 'death tax' ahead of election

Posted On: 
21st April 2017

Controversial plans to dramatically raise fees payable to the Government after death - dubbed a “stealth death tax” by critics - have been scrapped, it has emerged.

It is unclear whether Theresa May would press ahead with the plans if re-elected
Credit: 
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Ministers confirmed there was no longer time to push legislation to increase probate fees through parliament before it dissolves ahead of the general election.

The Ministry of Justice also refused to confirm that the plan will be re-introduced if Theresa May is re-elected.

Lord Beecham: Dalliance with 'death tax'

The Government collects probate fees when someone dies and the executor of their estates organises their assets before distribution to those listed in a will.

The current fee off up to £215 per application could have reached £20,000 for some estates in England in Wales from May, under the plans.

Meanwhile the estate threshold below which no fees are required was due to rise from £5,000 to £50,000 - lifting some 25,000 estates out of the system.

A committee of MPs and peers had warned earlier this month that the proposed changes appeared to have "the hallmarks of taxes rather than fees".