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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Estate Duty surviving spouse exemption: procedures where relief is not due

If the conditions listed at IHTM04345 are not satisfied, or if you think that relief may be due but the taxpayer has not deducted it, you should

  • obtain the testator’s file or a copy of the settlement under which the interest arose and/or
  • raise any necessary enquiries to ascertain the facts. Once you have obtained the required information

  • investigate the deceased’s interest fully
  • make an entry or note as appropriate and
  • write to the taxpayer setting out your findings and explaining the IHT implications of your decision. Your investigation should include establishing whether or not any of the persons entitled to (part of) the fund on the life tenant’s death have died before 13 March 1975.

If the testator’s file, when received, has a ‘F’ marking, (IHTM39020) however, refer both files to your manager before taking any further action.

If the `F’ claim relates to a Heritage exemption, you may need to consider restricting the relief.