HMRC received almost £5 billion last year for inheritance tax

The amount of money raised by HMRC from inheritance tax reached £4.72bn in the last year, rising 17 per cent on the previous year.

This figure is a staggering 91 per cent higher than it was in 2009/10, helped by the IHT threshold remaining at £325,000 for six years, according to Wilsons, a private client law firm who conducted the research.

In last year’s budget, George Osborne announced that an additional Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) would be introduced, as the family home is taken out of IHT. This effectively raises the IHT threshold to £1m for a married couple, provided a minimum of £350,000 of the estate comprises a primary residence.

“Inheritance tax is gradually becoming a general tax on Middle England and the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for the Treasury to let that income go,” said Tim Fullerlove, a partner at Wilsons.

“With each passing year, more and more and more middle-class estates are passing the IHT threshold, and are being penalised by a tax that was never intended for them.

“The IHT threshold has now slipped more than £65,000 behind where it should be if it had kept pace with inflation. By 2019, the next point when the threshold might be increased, that gap is only going to have widened.”