Press Room

29 Sep 2023

Letter to the Editor: There is no moral justification to tax an individual upon their death

Miles Dean, Head of International Tax, explains why inheritance tax should be “scrapped altogether”, in The Guardian.

Miles’ letter was published in The Guardian, 28 September 2023, and can be found here.

“Ideally inheritance tax should be scrapped altogether. It raises little in proportion to other taxes and there is no moral justification to tax an individual upon their death.

“The argument that inheritance tax is only paid by 3.7% of the population is neither here nor there. The fact remains that it is a pernicious money grab by the state. Why should the state benefit from the assets of a dead person?

“The US has a far more favourable exempt amount – currently $12mn, although this is being reduced by the Biden administration to $3.5mn in 2024. Notwithstanding this reduction, the fact remains that US estate tax is really paid only by the very wealthy.

“The nil rate band (NRB) of £325,000 should be increased to £1mn. UK house prices are such that the NRB, even when supplemented by the main residence NRB, is insufficient to absorb the tax cost leaving many families forced into selling the home in order to pay the tax.”

Miles Dean

Miles is Head of International Tax at Andersen LLP. He advises privately held multinational companies, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals on a wide range of cross border tax issues.

Email: Miles Dean