OTS recommends digital inheritance tax system

The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) has urged the Government to implement a digital system for inheritance tax, following complaints that the current form-filling system is too complex.

On average, there are around 570,000 deaths in the UK every year, and inheritance tax is due on less than 5% of estates.

Although the majority of estates are not liable to pay the tax, executors had to fill out inheritance tax forms for almost half of all deaths in 2015/16.

To make the process easier, the OTS recommended creating a "fully integrated digital system for inheritance tax", which would include the ability to complete and submit a probate application.

The report added that in the short term, HMRC should improve its current forms and guidance for the tax.

Angela Knight, chair at the OTS, said:

"The recommendations in this report will make it easier for the majority, and would mean that in future, many may not have to do the forms at all.

"Improving the administration of this tax is important as having to deal with the current process can seem overwhelming to people at a time when they are both preoccupied and distressed."

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