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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Is an account required?: excepted estates

Over a quarter of a million grants are obtained (IHTM05001) each year in England and Wales alone. A large number of these are for simple estates where the value of the total assets is much lower than the nil-rate band for Inheritance Tax. Since 1981, under a power given by IHTA84/S256, the Board of HMRC has made regulations which have enabled a large number of cases to be excepted estates (IHTM06001). In these cases the liable persons do not need to deliver a full account of the estate provided certain conditions are met (IHTM06012) (IHTM06013). Instead, they complete a brief return of information about the estate as a whole.

The current regulations (IHTM06012) and (IHTM06013) apply to deaths on or after 1 September 2006. They came into force under the IHT (Delivery of Accounts) (Excepted Estates) Regulations 2004 (S.2004/2543) as amended. There are some differences in the procedures for applying for an excepted estate grant in Scotland (IHTM05027) and the rest of the UK (IHTM05026).