Abolishing inheritance tax could harm charities’ legacy income, sector body warns

Proposals to abolish inheritance tax must take into account the risk that charities may lose out on legacy fundraising income, the charity legacy consortium Remember a Charity has warned.

Earlier this month, The Guardian newspaper reported that Downing Street is holding talks about making the scrapping of inheritance tax part of its manifesto for the next general election, while The Telegraph reported in May that more than 50 Conservative MPs had urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to scrap the tax.

In a statement reacting to these reports, Lucinda Frostick, director of Remember A Charity, said: “Any change to inheritance tax that fails to consider the likely impact on legacy giving and just how vital this income stream is for UK charities would be of great concern.

“Legacy giving has become a lifeline for thousands of charities and community-based organisations, building resilience and long-term income that has proved crucial in the current economic climate.

“We will be urging government and policymakers to consult with us and the wider sector to explore the likely impact on charities of proposed changes, ensuring that legacy income will be protected.”

To encourage more people to leave money to charity, charitable gifts in wills are currently exempt from inheritance tax and those who donate at least 10 per cent of their estate to charity can also reduce the rate at which IHT is due from the current rate of 40 per cent down to 36 per cent.

Remember A Charity, which has almost 200 charity members, works to grow legacy giving.

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