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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Woodlands: the election

An election in writing must be made by the person liable (IHTM30011) for the whole or part of the tax; and the election must be made within two years of the death or such longer period as the Board may allow. Where there is a valid election

  • the value of the trees or underwood (but not the land) is left out of account (IHTM04331) in determining the value transferred (IHTM04028) by the chargeable transfer (IHTM04027) on death, and
  • tax will be charged on a subsequent disposal (IHTM04121) of the trees or underwood.

Where you have a valid election you should enter the future claim (IHTM39011) at your file.

An election may be made for distinct areas of timber in the estate provided they are identifiable. Any case in which an election is attempted in respect of particular species of trees in ‘mixed age’ plantations containing a variety of species at different stages of development should be referred to TG.

An election made as a consequence of the extension of woodlands relief to include land in states within the European Economic Area (IHTM04377) must be made on or before

  • the date determined under section 125(3) IHTA84 as the last date on which the election may be made, or
  • 21 April 2010,

whichever is later under FA2009/S122(9).

Any election made after the two year period specified should be referred to TG.

Where within two years of a death the parties seek to withdraw an election they should normally be allowed to do so. Where such a request is made more than two years after the death and there are special circumstances the case should be given sympathetic consideration but enquiry should be made whether the timber has been or is about to be sold.