HMRC has released guidance on the new reduced rate of inheritance tax available to estates which leave a ten per cent donation to a registered charity.
Currently, estates worth over £325,000 are liable to pay inheritance tax at a rate of 40 per cent, however, as of the 6 April 2012 estates leaving 10 per cent to charity may pay a reduced rate of 36 per cent.
HMRC has stated that in order to qualify for the reduced inheritance tax rate, individuals must leave at least 10 per cent of the net value of an estate to a qualifying charity, and have outlined the following points:
According to calculations by the Telegraph, the move is to cost the Treasury £25 million for the tax year 2012/13, although it is hoped that charities will receive an additional £300 million over the coming three years.
HMRC is also currently altering the way charitable donations are claimed through Gift Aid by reducing the amount of required paper work for smaller donations.
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An agreement between the UK's 'big six' energy companies, meaning they will be required to tell customers if they are overpaying and allow them to switch to a better deal , is to cut the bills of millions of consumers and businesses, according to the Government and business groups.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the deal, which will cover 99 per cent of energy customers in the UK, will save households up to £100 a year when it is implemented in the autumn.
According to ministers, seven out of 10 consumers are on inefficient and costly tariffs due to nearly 120 different and complicated tariffs available on the market.
Announcing the move, Nick Clegg also alluded to the Government's Green Deal due to come into force in October this year, which will enable homes and businesses to recoup payments of energy efficient improvements through their energy bill. It is hoped the deal will reduce both carbon emissions and household and business energy bills.
Retailers, tradespeople, energy companies and investors supplying the improvements will also benefit from the deal, with the Government estimating it to support 100,000 jobs within five years.
Responding to Nick Clegg's speech Katja Hall, chief policy director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: "This pledge by energy companies is a positive step, which together with the Green Deal will make a real difference to the energy bills of consumers and businesses in difficult times.
"It's increasingly important to argue the case for our green economy in helping to deliver much-needed growth. Energy efficiency and a shift towards a low carbon economy will not only bring benefits in cost savings, but also provide opportunities for growth and investment.
"With the right policies in place, the Government can give investors the confidence they need to inject billions of pounds into our energy infrastructure and create thousands of jobs. The key is investor certainty and a new long-term industrial policy will be crucial to achieving this."
Significant tax and benefit changes, which come into force with the beginning of the 2012/13 tax year on 6 April, will affect millions of families around the UK, according to Government and opposition figures.
Amongst the biggest changes is the increase in the income tax personal threshold - the amount of income that can be received tax-free - which is to rise by £630 to £8,105. Other benefits, including job seeker allowance and maternity benefits are to rise by 5.2 per cent in line with inflation.
Opposition MPs and unions, however, have criticised the freezing of child benefits and changes which will see parents working a minimum of 24 hours per week - rather than the current 16 hours - in order to qualify for working tax credits.
The Trade Union Congress has said the changes to tax credits will outweigh any benefits from the personal allowance being raised, with some families loosing up to 20 times more than they will gain as a result.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Millions of people will be getting a small boost from the personal allowance increase this Friday, but working families are likely to have lost far more from cuts to tax credits. With unemployment at a 17-year high and full-time jobs being replaced with part-time ones, parents struggling to find 24 hours of work between them could lose thousands of pounds.
"Complicated changes to child benefit for higher rate taxpayers will provide further financial headaches for many parents this year.
"From tax credits to cuts in vital public services, families are bearing the brunt of the government's austerity measures. This approach is self-defeating as providing greater support towards the cost of raising children helps their development and boosts the economy, as parents tend to spend nearly every penny they earn."
Other key changes include: