What happens to the inheritance tax allowance of couples when one spouse dies? Is it cut in half?

What happens to the inheritance tax allowance of couples when one spouse dies? Is it cut in half?

I read in Moneywise that the amount that couples can pass on tax free is double that of individuals. But what if one spouse has died? Would their children still be able to claim this when the second parent dies?

Patrick Connolly
Fri, 01/03/2020 – 14:06


Inheritance tax can be payable if the value of somebody’s estate, on their death, is more than £325,000. This is because individuals will typically benefit from a nil-rate band amount of £325,000, which means that the value of their estate up to this amount is exempt from tax.

UK-domiciled married couples and registered civil partners are allowed to pass assets to each other during their lifetime or when they die without having to pay inheritance tax, no matter how much they pass on. This is known as spouse or civil partner exemption.

In addition, the survivor of a marriage or civil partnership can claim the proportion of their partner’s nil-rate band which wasn’t used on their death in addition to their own entitlement. This means that if the deceased partner did not use any of their nil-rate band, perhaps because they left everything to the surviving partner, then the surviving spouse can benefit from a nil-rate band allowance of up to £650,000. So the answer to your question is yes.

The transferable allowance benefit also applies to the residence nil-rate band, which was introduced in phases from April 2017. This allowance is available for individuals who pass on a residence to direct descendants such as children or grandchildren, but also stepchildren, adopted and foster children. The residence nil-rate ban allowance is currently £150,000 a person, although it will rise to £175,000 per person from April 2020. These amounts are capped subject to the value of the property.

If unused by the first partner, the allowance can be transferred to their spouse or civil partner on death, meaning a couple could have a combined nil-rate band allowance of £1 million from April 2020. 

Patrick Connolly, certified financial planner at Chase de Vere

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Deal of the week: Get a Big Mac for 99p and 23 more McDonald’s offers

Deal of the week: Get a Big Mac for 99p and 23 more McDonald’s offers

McDonald’s launches three weeks worth of food deals through its app. 

Brean Horne
Fri, 01/03/2020 – 12:32


From Saturday 4th January, McDonald’s will be offering 24 deals in 23 days, exclusively through the My McDonald’s App.

The first deal available will a 99p Big Mac, which will save customers £2.40 on average from the normal price. 

Early risers on Sunday 5 January will be able to grab a free Single McMuffin for breakfast until 11am. 

The remaining 22 deals will be announced throughout January and can only accessed through the My McDonald’s App. 

The app is available for download on Apple and Android devices. 

Ben Fox, marking director for McDonald’s UK&I says: “We’re excited to offer customers 24 deals over 23 days to brighten up the month of January.

“The daily deals are exclusively available through the My McDonald’s App, which also enables our customers to beat the queue, enjoy table service, customise orders and remember their favourite orders.”

How does the My McDonald’s App work?

Once downloaded, you can can use the My McDonald’s App to browse through the food menu.

After selecting and paying for your meal through the app, your selected McDonald’s will start preparing your food when you’re close to the restaurant. 

You can then choose to collect your meal at the counter or have brought over to you via the McDonald’s table service. 

The My McDonald’s App allows you to collect and store loyalty points for the McCafé too. 

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HSBC launches £175 bank switch bonus for new customers

HSBC launches £175 bank switch bonus for new customers

Eligible customers could get a three-figure cash reward for opening an HSBC bank account.

Brean Horne
Fri, 01/03/2020 – 08:43


HSBC has relaunched its popular £175 current account switching incentive for new customers opening a Premier or Advanced bank account.

The bank is also offering a £75 cash bonus for those switching to its basic current account too.

To be eligible for the bonuses you will need to switch accounts via the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and set up two direct debits or standing orders within 30 days of opening the account.

You must not have been an HSBC current account holder since 1 January 2017.

For the HSBC Advance account, you will also need to pay in a minimum of £1,750 a month or £10,500 every six months, excluding transfers from other HSBC accounts.

Meanwhile for the HSBC Premier account you must pay in your full salary and satisfy one of the following three criteria:

  1. Have an income of £75,000 and have either a HSBC mortgage, investment, life insurance or protection product;
  2. Have savings or investments of at least £50,000 with HSBC;
  3. Hold HSBC Premium in another country.

All three of HSBC’s accounts give customers access to a regular saver paying 2.75% on monthly deposits of between £25-£250.

How does HSBC’s switching deal compare?

While HSBC’s switching bonus is the highest-paying incentive in the market right now, it requires the highest monthly pay-in.

The table below shows how the HSBC switching deal compares to other banks.

Account Reward Pay-in Deadline
HSBC Advanced £175 £1,750 per month Ongoing
HSBC Basic £75 None Ongoing
first direct 1st account £100 + 0% overdraft £1,000 Ongoing
M&S Bank £100 gift card + £80 gift card after 1 year £1,250 per month for second gift card 6th Jan 2019
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Premium Bonds January 2020: are you a winner?

Premium Bonds January 2020: are you a winner?

The first Premium Bond winners of the decade have been announced

Brean Horne
Fri, 01/03/2020 – 07:44


Two lucky Premium Bond holders have won the first £1m jackpot prizes of the decade.

The first number randomly selected by ERNIE was 244DT242763, which belongs to a man living in Hertfordshire who purchased his winning Bond in April 2015.

He has a total holding of £40,000 in Premium Bonds and becomes the tenth jackpot millionaire from the county.

January’s second jackpot recipient is a woman from Cheshire East with the winning Bond number of 278CW859665.

She bought the winning Bond back in August 2016 and holds the maximum amount allowed in Premium Bonds with a total holding of £50,000.

She becomes the ninth winner in the Cheshire East area to be visited by Agent Million

The winners were visited by Agent Million, on New Year’s Day to receive the good news.

In the January prize draw, a total of 3,471,112 prizes worth £99,215,975 will be paid out.

Since the first draw in June 1957, ERNIE has drawn 466 million prizes with a total value of £20.1 billion.

The table below shows the January 2020 Premium Bonds prize breakdown.

Value of prize Number of prizes
£1,000,000 2
£100,000 6
£50,000 12
£25,000 23
£10,000 59
£5,000 119
£1,000 1,984
£500 5,952
£100 27,221
£50 27,221
£25 3,408,513

Unclaimed Premium Bond Prizes

There are now more than 1.7 million prizes worth over £64 million still waiting to be claimed by Premium Bonds holders.

In Hertfordshire, for example, there are 38,407 unclaimed prizes worth over £1,366,000.

The highest value unclaimed prize is worth £10,000, won in December 2017 with Bond number 148LB252543.

In Cheshire East, a total of 9,094 prizes worth £322,875 have been unclaimed.

The highest prize waiting to be claimed in the area is £1,000.

You can check your Premium bonds and whether you’ve one on the NS&I website, via the Prize Checker app on iOS and Android or through an Alexa-enabled device.

Premium Bond holders can also opt to have winnings paid directly into their bank or building society account, to make certain that their prizes are always claimed.

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