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Revealed: the UK’s inheritance tax hotspots

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Guildford in Surrey is the UK’s inheritance tax (IHT) capital, according to new research.

Some 658 estates paid IHT in the 2015/16 tax year, with the average family paying £231,000 or £152m altogether.

The area paying the most IHT was South West London where 655 estates had a collective liability of £227m.

In contrast, estates in Wigan paid just £6m in total during the same period.

Estates in West London paid the highest average IHT bill per estate at £390,700 followed by those in North London at £381,540.

The lowest average recorded payments were made by estates in Dartford (£97,200) and Dudley (£102,700).

The analysis by Direct Line followed a Freedom of Information Request to HMRC.

Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “Brits pay billions of pounds in inheritance tax each year with large variations across the country, often due to differences in property values. If you are concerned about the amount of tax that may be payable on your estate when the time comes, you could seek independent advice and investigate transferring money to beneficiaries early as a gift or placing assets into trust to reduce your liabilities.”

George Hodgson, CEO of STEP, a professional body for advisers who specialise in inheritance, said: “Rising property values mean that growing numbers of families need to think about inheritance tax and how this might affect them. Good advice from an estate planning expert is essential, since there are some simple steps you can take to both minimise your tax bill and make it easier for your family to fund any tax due.”

Related: How to beat the inheritance tax trap

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