In 2012-13, it reached a total of £3.147billion – a rise of 8% on the previous year and the highest figure since the start of the recession in 2007.
It’s thought the increase is partly due to people saving more of their money rather than spending it during the economic downturn.
The ONS believes that an increase in the value of shares and other investments could be another factor.
The report says: “Properties, household savings and to a lesser extent, equities make up the bulk of estates and hence receipts tend to reflect any fluctuations in these economic indicators.
“The level of receipts will also have been affected by the freeze in the inheritance tax threshold, which has been held at £325,000 since April 2009.”
As the ONS points out, the inheritance tax threshold has been frozen at £325,000 for more than three years, during which time its true value has been eroded by inflation.
The ONS figures highlight the need to plan ahead in order to ensure that as much of your estate as possible is passed on in a tax efficient way to your beneficiaries, rather than being taken in tax.
A little careful planning now in relation to things such as wills, trusts and your overall financial arrangements can prevent thousands of pounds being lost in the future.
Please contact Michelle Stopford in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or Sarah Gratton in Westbury on 01373 865577 if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of inheritance tax planning. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.