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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

General procedural matters: valuation of assets

In determining the value of an estate to see whether or not it qualifies as an excepted estate, the regulations import the provisions of IHTA84/S160 by defining ‘value’ as meaning ‘value for tax’. This means the open market value (IHTM09703) of an asset must be used.

From 15 April 2002, in England & Wales the net value of an excepted estate (IHTM06011) must be rounded up to the next whole thousand and expressed as ‘not exceeding £…’ . However, both the gross and net values for an exempt excepted estate must be stated precisely.

When personal representatives (IHTM05012) deliver a full account (IHTM10011) we expect them to have made full and thorough enquiries so their account includes, to the best of their knowledge and belief, all appropriate property and the open market value of that property.

We expect personal representatives to meet the same criteria for excepted estates. We do not insist on a professional valuation of assets although personal representatives ought to consider getting one where preliminary estimates put the gross value of the estate close to the excepted estates limit  (IHTM06012) and (IHTM06013) We expect personal representatives to make a realistic estimate rather than use a nominal value whatever the size of the gross estate. However, if the gross value of the estate is likely to be less than £200,000, the guidance specifically states that personal representatives may use their own realistic estimate as the value for any of the assets.