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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Has an election been made?: form of an election

No particular form is provided for a IHTA84/S142 (2) election, which may be made in any form indicating an intention that IHTA84/S142 (1) should apply to the instrument. In particular, a declaration to that effect incorporated in the variation itself is quite acceptable. The published guidelines at IHTM35021 say that the notice should ideally refer to the appropriate statutory provisions.

However it is also sufficient if, in appropriate words, there is an agreement - an election - that clearly states that, for IHT purposes, the person(s) making the instrument wish the variation to apply as if it had been made by the deceased. If there is any doubt that the election is not made specifically for IHT purposes refer to the TG.

Occasionally the election (included in the recitals to the deed and believed to have been abstracted from a book of legal precedents) takes a form that could be regarded as no more than a statement of intention to elect. Taken in conjunction with the covering letter, however, this may amount to an election. You should refer any such case, with a brief statement of the facts, to TG immediately a claim is made that such a statement of intention amounts to an election.