Brown 'could reform inheritance tax'

It has been suggested that Gordon Brown could begin a complete overhaul of the inheritance tax system if he becomes prime minister.

It is widely predicted that Mr Brown's 2007 Budget will be his last as chancellor, with most backing him to become prime minister when Tony Blair steps down later this year.

And according to one organisation, that handover of power could be the trigger for "root and branch" reform of the inheritance tax legislation throughout Britain and Northern Ireland.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), has claimed that the chancellor has been keen to deliver a review of the inheritance tax system for the past ten years.

Such a move would result in a considerable amount of upheaval for solicitors in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK as they could face significant changes to the rules.

"Inheritance tax is the only tax that Gordon Brown has not reformed - so I wouldn't be at all surprised if he sets up a commission to look at how to reform inheritance tax," explained Mr Roy-Chowdhury.

He added: "What I suspect he will be after is a much more root and branch review of inheritance tax - which will mean at the end of the day that there is much less chance of escaping without paying something."

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