Recent figures have shown a steady increase in the number of estates subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT).

Inheritance Tax is liable on estates that are valued at more than £325,000, and is paid at 40%. Since April 2012, people have been able to reduce the amount of IHT payable to 36% if they leave 10% or more of their net estate to charity.

In response to a request by The Law Wizard, HMRC revealed that in 2011 there were 17,000 estates subject to IHT. In 2012 this number rose to 18,000 and rose again in 2013 to 18,500.

According to The Law Wizard, this increase corresponds to an upward trend in the UK economy, and also follows a slight rise in the number of deaths in England and Wales.

However, although the number of estates falling over the IHT threshold is rising, the overall level remains relatively low, says The Law Wizard. In 2012, IHT was payable on estates from just 3.6% of deaths that occurred in England and Wales, rising slightly from 3.51% in 2011.

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