Inheritance tax (IHT) receipts decreased by £63 million in May, according to the latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
The statistics showed that the total IHT receipts for May 2019 were £393 million, which represents a drop from the £456 million that was raised in April 2019, and a year on year decrease of 19 per cent.
Experts believe that probate fees could have had an effect on the fluctuation in rates, with the fees due to be reformed.
The Government announced the changes to probate fees in November 2018, which will see the flat fee system replaced by a tiered system that will result in larger estates paying significantly more in fees; at the upper end the flat fee of £155 for solicitor applications or £215 for personal applications will jump to a staggering £6,000.
This may have resulted in probate applications being pushed through to avoid the higher fees, with a resulting spike in tax revenues and a significant increase to the March and April figures.
However, the Government subsequently postponed this change to how fees would be charged, and this would explain the slowdown in revenue receipts disclosed by the May figures.
In spite of all this, inheritance tax revenue has still increased in the last year, with a record total of £5.4 billion being paid in tax revenue in the financial year 2018/19.
Inheritance tax revenue has increased significantly in the last several years, from £2.38 billion in 2009/10, which is an increase of £3 billion in tax revenue.