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In the Conservative Party manifesto for the election gone by, a key component was the promise to raise the Inheritance Tax threshold from its current £325,000 to £1 million. This was pledged to ensure that ‘only millionaires pay Inheritance Tax’. The current rules were badged as a ‘Death Tax’ by Shadow Treasury spokesmen,

So with George Osborne’s emergency budget speech being finalised ready for tomorrow’s tax and slash fest, is the IHT bar to be raised as promised?

It seems not. As part of May’s coalition deal David Cameron and his deal maker colleagues had to ditch the plan at the behest of the Lib Dems and so it seems doubtful that there will be anything much in tomorrow’s statement that will assist the housing market or home owners.

Grant funding for social housing has been cut back by £250 million or so.

Capital Gains Tax may be imposed at a higher, equal rate to income tax on asset disposals such as second homes and buy to let investments.

And VAT will probably rise, so making mainstream estate agency fees, for instance, even more unpalatable.

Oh well. Here’s to March 2011… (although the industry remains ever grateful for the demise of HIPs).

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