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The Residential Nil Rate Band: A Path through the Maze – Paper by Charles Holbech

In late 2015, the Government introduced an additional nil rate band for inheritance tax purposes applying where a deceased person’s interest in their residence is “closely inherited” by their children and other descendants, known as the residential nil rate band (“RNRB”). The objective was to meet the criticism that the estates of persons, who are by no means wealthy, were being dragged into the inheritance tax net by virtue only of the historic rise in residential property prices.

Unfortunately, the legislation is of mind-blowing complexity and almost impossible, even for a lawyer, to decipher, let alone apply. It introduces a whole host of different terms (many of which are represented by symbols) and it is of very little or no assistance in many circumstances. In this paper, Radcliffe Chambers barrister Charles Holbech attempts to unravel the complexities of the RNRB, and its impact on will drafting and lifetime tax planning.