Despite a vast number of readers agreeing that stamp duty is the unfairest tax, IHT still comes out on top for reasons which our readers go on to explain.
Many, for example, warn how easy it is under the current system for the very wealthy to avoid paying, while the middle classes get stung for the full 40 per cent.
Reader Nigel Curtress, for example, supports the argument that it’s the middle classes who are hit the hardest – “it’s only the little people who pay the tax,” he says.
Nigel explains that “the really rich avoid it completely by transferring estates to their children when they still have a very good chance of survival. They then live in a nice house on the estate and the children inherit the stately pile. And so it goes on.”
In another vein of argument, Simon Pearson argues: “Any tax that can be avoided by people like the King and the Duke of Westminster, or anyone else with the wit and resources to get timely advice, is pure evil.”
Some also emphasise that IHT is double taxation, which they view as deeply “immoral”.
As David Summers explains, “hard earned money that an individual used to accumulate wealth has already been taxed. Just because they get old and die should not give the Government the right to take it, denying loved ones and families what is rightfully theirs.”
Others despise the tax for more sentimental reasons.
“People forget that an inheritance is about more than hard cash,” asserts R Whinnett, whose maiden aunt, a nurse her whole life, was liable for IHT when she died at 82.
“Her many beneficiaries considered themselves lucky to inherit the remaining money and for me it transformed my life.
“What hurt was the realisation that all her worldly goods had to be valued and sold, including items of sentimental value… Seeing cherished but not particularly valuable items monetised in this was distressing.”
This sentiment is shared by John Hall who believes, “leaving the family home to one’s children is an act of love. The state stealing it is criminal.”
While some take issue with not having a say over how their hard-earned money is spent, raising fears of it being wasted in the hands of the Government, particularly on strategies and causes such as immigration and net zero.
D Morrell argues that it is “better for private individuals to have the money than give it to the Government to waste.”
Reader K Furley shares how his kids have worked since they were 14, and went to university, but cannot afford a house. Therefore, Mr Furley feels it is his “right and theirs to benefit 100 per cent from my meagre estate”.
“Why should the Government take from it? Who personally will benefit? It would be wasted and disappear into government hands,” he continues.
Echoing Mr Furley, John Youngs sees inheritance tax as “stealing from the responsible members of our community and giving to the feckless.”
For most, scrapping the levy is the only reasonable outcome, urging the Government to follow in the footsteps of Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Sweden. Reader Andrew Okoye, for example, believes that “no one should be punished for being highly productive, sensible with money or for sacrificing themselves for prosperity.”
Some, however, favour reform over abolishing the tax entirely. Reader J Ward, for example, suggests “raising the threshold to £5 million for each person” to make it “much fairer”, while the likes of Tim Higgs suggest closing those exclusionary loopholes so “everyone eligible actually pays.”