MORE than two thirds of British people (69%) think it unfair to tax a person's estate after their death, according to new research from MORI. The survey, for Friends Provident, looks at views on inheritance tax, it's fairness as a means of generating tax revenues, and whether the current threshold (163263,000) is considered correct. Most people (57%) think the threshold should be raised and two thirds (67%) believe a 'banding' system should be introduced, so that smaller amounts attract a lower rate and larger sums a higher rate.
- MORI interviewed 1,975 British adults aged 15+ years
- Interviews were carried out face-to-face in respondents' homes using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview)
- All interviews were conducted between 10-14 September 2004
- Data is weighted to the GB population profile
- Where figures do not sum to 100 per cent, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple codes or the exclusion of "Not stated"
- Figures marked with a * are less than 1 per cent
- All answers are based on all respondents (1,975) unless indicated otherwise
I would like to ask you a few questions about inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is the tax on a person's estate -- in other words, their wealth -- when they die. At present the first 163263,000 on an estate is tax-free and inheritance tax is payable at 40% on everything over this amount.
Q1 In principle, do you think taxing a person's estate when they die is a fair or unfair way of raising some of the revenue a Government needs?
Q2 Inheritance tax currently starts on inherited wealth of 163263,000. Do you think the tax should start at a lower level, a higher level, or is the starting level about right? Is that a much lower/higher level, or slightly lower/higher?
|Should start much lower||5|
|Should start slightly lower||6|
|About right now||18|
|Should start slightly higher||16|
|Should start much higher||41|
Q3 Inheritance tax is paid at a flat rate of 40% for everybody. Would you prefer to keep a flat rate of 40% or switch to a tax banding system like income tax, so that smaller amounts attract a lower rate and larger sums a higher rate?
|Keep flat rate of 40%||14|
|Switch to banding system||67|
Q4 A research institute has proposed this system of inheritance tax banding:
- Estates under 163263,000 stay tax-free
- Tax paid at 22% up to 163288,000
- Tax paid at 40% up to 163763,000
- And 50% on estates above that
On balance, do you think this sounds fairer than a flat tax of 40% on all estates over 163263,000, less fair, or no difference?