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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Rules about excepted estates - what is an excepted estate

For deaths after 6 April 2004, there are three categories of excepted estate:

Before April 2004, there was a monetary limit below which an estate might qualify as an excepted estate. After this date, this ‘excepted estate limit’ was linked to the IHT nil rate band.

For excepted estates, the IHT nil rate band means the amount above which IHT is payable that applied at the date of death. The one exception to this rule is where:

  • the deceased died after 5 April but before 6 August in any one year, and
  • a grant of representation is applied for before the 6 August.

Where this is the case, it is the IHT nil rate band from the tax year before that in which the deceased died that applies.

With effect from 6 April 2010 and subject to the rule about the death and the grant being made between 6 April and 6 August, ‘nil rate band’ can mean either a single nil rate band to which the deceased is entitled, or where certain conditions are met (IHTM06024), double that nil rate band if transferable nil rate band (TNRB) (IHTM43001) is available.