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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Loss on sale of land: procedures: has form IHT38 been completed correctly?

This page tells you what checks to make when you first look at a completed form IHT38.

Sometimes you will have to return a form to be amended or fully completed. But before doing this you should check all the other information (IHTM33033) given on the form so you can raise any other enquiries you need to make at the same time.

Has the form been fully and correctly completed?

If not you should return the IHT38 to the taxpayers. The covering letter should make it clear what further details you need. You should also make it clear that the ‘appropriate person’ (IHTM33050) must initial any amendments.

Has the form been signed by all the ‘appropriate persons’ and not by an agent?

If not you must return the IHT38 to the taxpayers and explain in the covering letter that the appropriate persons must make the claim.

Has either box 1 or box 2 of the declaration on page 4 of the IHT38 been ticked?

If neither box has been ticked:

  • If four months or more have passed between the date of the last sale and the date the IHT38 was signed, and, all the land has been sold or four years have passed since the date of death, you do not need to return the form and you can deal with the claim.
  • If less than four months have passed since the date of the last sale, or if only some of the land has been sold and less than four years have passed since the death, you should phone the taxpayers or agents. You should ask whether they intend to purchase any land within the 4 month period or sell any more land in the four years following the death. If you are satisfied that no sales or purchases are planned you may process the claim and allow any relief on a provisional basis (IHTM33044).

In all other cases you should return the IHT38 and ask for a new, fully completed form to be sent to us by the ‘appropriate person(s)’ four months after the last sale or purchase has taken place.