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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Investigating accounts: exempt or partly exempt estates

The transfer on death may be wholly or partly exempt.  Your concern is to quantify the chargeable transfer (IHTM04027) and you need to confine your consideration of the estate to the minimum you need to do to achieve this. 

You first need to satisfy yourself that the estate, or part of it, is exempt.  But if the estate is wholly exempt this is all you need to do as far as the estate itself is concerned.  You do not need to value the estate and you should not enter into correspondence with taxpayers about the value of items that are not chargeable to tax.  What you should consider though is the possibility of lifetime gifts in excess of the threshold for tax.  If there is any information included in the account or from other sources that suggests that there is a risk of substantial tax being lost as a result of gifts being omitted from the account then you will need to make further enquiries with the taxpayers.

If the estate is partly exempt then what you need to do will depend on whether

  • one or more of the titles are wholly exempt – in which case only need to consider the value of the property at that title if it affects the value of taxable property at another title (IHTM09713), or
  • part of the property within a title is exempt – where special rules (IHTM26071) apply for establishing the value of the chargeable estate.