The residence nil rate band (RNRB) will be available for deaths on or after 6 April 2017. It will start at £100,000 but this will increase by £25,000 each subsequent 6 April until it reaches £175,000 on 6 April 2020. It can be used where the deceased’s interest in their residence is passed to one or more lineal descendants, including the spouse or widow(er) of a lineal descendant. The definition of lineal descendant goes beyond children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. It includes adopted children, stepchildren and even foster children.
Like the standard nil rate band of £325,000, any unused RNRB from the first death of a married couple or civil partners can be transferred to the surviving spouse or civil partner, no matter when the first death occurred.
A deceased’s entitlement to the RNRB will be restricted where the total value of the estate on death, including the value of the residence, exceeds £2m. In this case, the RNRB will be reduced by £1 for every £2 of estate value over £2m. It appears that gifts in the previous seven years do not have to be taken into account for this purpose, so it seems that deathbed planning could ensure the RNRB is available in full.
Provisions have been included in the Finance Bill 2016 to allow the benefit of the RNRB to be preserved where a taxpayer downsizes by moving into a smaller house, for example, on or after 8 July 2015, as long as an equivalent amount is left to lineal descendants.
If you need any further detail, please contact the ican team.