Former Pensions Secretary Demands Government Extends City Tax Exemption Survivors Receive on Inherited Property for Relatives Unable to Sell During Pandemic
A former Pensions Secretary will demand that the government renew the state tax exemption that survivors receive on inherited properties for family members who cannot sell them during the pandemic.
Baroness Ros Altmann supports a campaign by The Mail on Sunday calling for more fairness from town halls after this newspaper uncovered dozens of cases where grieving families were hit by unexpected tax bills on properties once owned by their loved ones.
In many cases, these are retirement homes owned by elderly relatives but cannot be easily sold as many potential buyers are still reluctant to attend viewings due to Covid-19.
Question: Baroness Ros Altmann supports a campaign that calls for more fairness in town halls
This slowdown in home sales has forced families to pay the city tax bills, both for their own properties and for homes they cannot use.
Altmann told the MoS that the current six-month municipal tax exemption for families once they gain control of a property through the legal process known as probate should be extended to one year.
She said: ‘Given all the other measures we have taken to help people in this day and age, it seems reasonable to extend the municipal tax exemption, especially as not many people can do about it in these circumstances.
For example, the government is encouraging private landlords to tolerate not receiving rent for their properties.
At the very least, I would push for an additional six-month exemption so that there would be a total exemption for an exempt rate.
‘The national government should finance this, because the municipalities have no money for it.’
The peer plans to submit a series of written questions as soon as Parliament returns on Tuesday. She will ask ministers to provide details on how many survivors are forced to pay council tax on vacant retirement homes that they have been unable to sell.
She will also ask if the government intends to extend the six-month empty rate exemption to one year.
Altmann said, “ The policy of levying city tax on vacant properties is correct, but imposing it in the current environment is not – especially for rest properties where the very people who might buy them can’t go outside to view them. . ‘