Can a surviving joint tenant benefit from the apportionment of the nil rate band?

Can anybody assist with a query I have, relating to Section 211 IHT 1984, whereby the surviving joint tenant of real property has been assessed to IHT, that assessment being a proportion of the IHT payable by the estate, in that part of the estate’s nil rate band has been apportioned to the surviving joint tenant’s property. The surviving joint tenant is not a beneficiary of the estate and it seems inequitable that the joint tenant should benefit from the estate’s nil rate band. Is the amount of the benefit of the estate’s nil rate band that has been apportioned to this joint tenant something that has been paid or expended by the estate and therefore recoverable under section 211 (3) IHT 1984.

Lizzie Mullaney
Gaby Hardwicke

No, because it has not been paid or expended, it is just part of the calculation of IHT liabilities.

Also, I’m not sure I would agree that it is necessarily inequitable that the joint tenant should benefit from a share of the nil rate band - it is not an asset so much as a threshold over which IHT is paid; it only seems fair that all people bearing the burden of IHT should benefit from the threshold. Your particular facts may of course put a different slant on things.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

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