The majority of people over the age of 50 consider inheritance tax a form of “double taxation”.
Almost three quarters – 73 per cent – of Mumsnet and Gransnet users expressed this view in a recent poll. Nearly 1,000 users of the social networking sites took part in the survey which asked about their attitudes to finances and taxes.
A significant number of participants – 42 per cent – claimed inheritance tax (IHT) should be abolished outright while 55 per cent said it should exist but only be applied to estates valued at least £1 million. Meanwhile, 49 per cent thought the minimum value of an estate should be £2 million before any IHT is taken. By contrast, only four per cent believed IHT should be increased.
The survey also revealed that 15 per cent planned to spend everything they had before they die, either by buying things for themselves, giving money away or donating to worthy causes. Most of these people said they plan to do so because of the IHT threshold.
Only 39 per cent of those surveyed agreed that IHT was “an important mechanism for reducing inequality across society” while 49 per cent disagreed. More than half supported the idea that passing wealth along to the next generation was a “human impulse and the Government should stay out of it as much as possible”.
Lara Crisp, editor of Gransnet, said many members of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation “scrimped and saved pretty hard for what they have”. The women “struggled against sexism to build careers”, raise children and are now “giving away much of what they have to support their families”. There was “nothing selfish about them wanting to have some fun at the same time” she added.
Back in August, official figures revealed that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs collected £4.7 billion in inheritance tax during the last financial year.
Photo by mrhayata via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.