I remember these sorts of schemes being heavily promoted to us as financial advisers a few years ago. The idea was that you could help the film industry, get a little of the glamour of being a movie financier and it would all be tax-free and bring down your tax bill into the bargain. My mantra on these things have always been that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is; and if I don’t understand it (what the heck is ‘sideways relief’ when it’s at home?), I shouldn’t be recommending it. So I didn’t. I know a few clients who were tempted and had a go themselves, but had the sense to realise it was a gamble which might not (and didn’t) pay off, in both cases because the films were never made. Many advisers working in the ‘high net worth’ market, however, did try to be, in my opinion, rather too clever, and it seems both they and their now not so high net worth clients may have caught a nasty cold. Caveat Emptor.
Yes, Inheritance Tax is in need of reform, but then so is most of our ridiculously complex tax system. We tend to assume that ‘Death Duties’ are a relatively new, socialist tax intended to stop the landed gentry passing on their stately homes and estates and perpetuating their advantages.