LOOPHOLES in inheritance tax are allowing wealthy individuals to avoid paying their dues, the SNP’s Alison Thewliss has claimed.

The Glasgow Central MP, who is the party’s treasury spokesman, called for the reform of the “not fit for purpose” levy.

READ MORE: This is the most likely independence timetable

She also argued that it was time for it to be devolved to Holyrood. Tax taken from inheritance hit a record high of £5.2 billion in 2017-18, with £283 million raised in Scotland. But HMRC figures show the gap between the amount expected and the amount received has grown to £600m in 2016-17. In 2012 the gap was £400m.

Thewliss, pictured, pointed out common tricks used by tax advisors, including using special exemptions usually applied solely to family businesses.

She said: “The current system of inheritance is not fit for purpose with loopholes allowing the wealthiest individuals to avoid paying their fair share. The UK Government had to be dragged into accepting Magnitsky Powers to sanction international human rights developers and reviewing the structure of Scottish Limited Partnerships which are being used as money laundering vehicles.

READ MORE: First Minister's pledge progresses with bid to raise Scotland’s profile in Switzerland

“The Tories can’t be trusted on inheritance tax.

“It was the former Chancellor George Osborne who appeared to advise Daily Politics viewers on how to avoid inheritance tax as a backbencher in 2003.

“With Westminster having repeatedly failed Scotland on this issue, it is high time inheritance was devolved so that the Scottish Government could deliver a system designed to meet Scotland’s needs.”

The current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000 per person, but it doubles to £650,000 for a married couple, as long as the property moves between them.