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Understanding Inheritance Tax and Form IHT406 for Bank and Building Society Accounts

Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK is a tax on the estate (property, money, and possessions) of someone who's passed away. There's a specific form, known as IHT406, which plays a crucial role in the process of calculating and reporting the amount of Inheritance Tax payable. The form is used alongside IHT400, the main Inheritance Tax account form, to provide detailed information on the deceased's bank and building society accounts that were solely in their name and in credit at the time of death.

Inheritance Tax: Understanding Form IHT406 for Bank and Building Society Accounts

Understanding Form IHT406

Form IHT406 is designed to capture the value of the deceased's bank and building society accounts. This includes National Savings and Investments, Premium Bonds, and any other similar accounts. It's important for the executor or administrator of the estate to accurately report the amounts held in these accounts at the date of death, including any accrued interest up to that date that wasn't paid or credited to the account. This detail helps HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to determine the correct amount of Inheritance Tax due.

Completing the Form

The form is divided into several sections, each requiring specific information:

  • Personal Details: This includes the deceased's full name, date of birth, date of death, and the details of the executor or administrator.

  • Assets and Liabilities: A comprehensive list of the deceased's assets and liabilities must be provided. Assets should be valued at their open market value as of the date of death. For bank and building society accounts, this includes the balance at the date of death and any accrued, unpaid interest.

  • Gifts and Exemptions: Details of any gifts or transfers made by the deceased in the seven years before their death are required. This section assesses the impact of these gifts on the Inheritance Tax calculation, considering various exemptions and reliefs.

  • Calculation of Inheritance Tax: This section is used to calculate the Inheritance Tax due, based on the net value of the estate after deductions for any reliefs or exemptions.

  • Declaration and Signature: The executor or administrator must declare the accuracy of the information and sign the form.

Important Considerations

  • The form must be completed with great care to ensure accuracy. Inaccuracies or omissions can lead to penalties or legal action.

  • The value of the estate and the details of any accounts must be accurately reported to HMRC. This includes making sure that interest accrued but not credited by the date of death is included.

  • It's important to be aware that certain tax-exempt accounts, like Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), are also subject to Inheritance Tax, and their interest must be reported.

How to Complete Form IHT406 - A Step by Step Guide

Completing Form IHT406 is an essential step in managing the estate of someone who has passed away in the UK. This form is specifically designed for reporting bank and building society accounts, including National Savings and Investments, held solely by the deceased at the time of their death. Here's a step-by-step guide, complete with examples, to assist you in accurately filling out this form.

1. When to Use Form IHT406

  • Use this form for accounts in the sole name of the deceased and in credit.

  • Exclude jointly owned accounts, business-related accounts, or overdrawn accounts.

2. Basic Information

  • Start by providing the name of the deceased, date of death, and if available, the Inheritance Tax reference number.

3. Bank and Building Society Accounts

  • List each bank or building society account separately, including cash ISAs.

  • For each account, provide the name of the institution, account number/roll or reference number, and the amount held at the date of death, including interest.

  • Example: "Bank XYZ, Account Number 123456789, £10,000."

4. National Savings Accounts

  • Detail any National Savings Accounts the deceased had.

  • Mention the type of account (e.g., Investment Account, Direct ISA), account number, and total amount including interest at the date of death.

  • Example: "Investment Account, Number ABC123, £5,000."

5. Premium Bonds

  • For Premium Bonds, provide the holder number, bond number(s), total value at the date of death, and any unclaimed prizes.

  • Example: "Holder Number 987654321, Bond Number AB123456C, Value £1,000, Unclaimed Prizes £50."

6. Other National Savings and Investments Products

  • List other products like savings certificates or income bonds.

  • Include the name of the product, certificate number, and amount including interest at the date of death.

  • Example: "Savings Certificate, Certificate Number 001234567, £2,000."

7. Totals and Submission

  • Calculate the totals for bank and building society accounts and National Savings and Investments separately. Transfer these totals to the corresponding boxes in Form IHT400.

  • Ensure all information is accurate and reflects the state of the accounts at the date of death.

Tips for Completion

  • Accuracy is crucial. Double-check all figures and account details.

  • If space is insufficient, you may use an additional copy of the form.

  • Remember, this form is part of a larger process of estate management. Keeping records organized and accessible will ease the process.

By following these steps and utilizing the examples provided, you can accurately complete Form IHT406, ensuring a smoother process in managing the financial aspects of the deceased's estate.

Submission Process

After completion, form IHT406, along with the IHT400 and any other necessary documents, should be submitted to HMRC within 12 months of the deceased's date of death. The submission is a critical step in the probate process, enabling the executor or administrator to settle the deceased's tax affairs and proceed with distributing the estate according to the will or the law.

Form IHT406 is a vital document in the administration of an estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. It requires detailed and accurate information about the deceased's bank and building society accounts. Understanding and correctly completing this form is essential for executors and administrators to ensure they meet legal requirements and correctly calculate any Inheritance Tax due.

Navigating Inheritance Tax: Practical Steps and Compliance for UK Taxpayers

Delving into the Details: Assets, Liabilities, and Exemptions

Understanding and managing the intricacies of Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK, particularly in relation to bank and building society accounts through form IHT406, is crucial for executors and administrators. This part delves deeper into the practical steps required to accurately report and calculate the estate's value, ensuring compliance with HMRC's regulations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reporting Assets and Liabilities

  1. Comprehensive Asset Reporting: Executors must list all the deceased's assets, including bank and building society accounts, investments, real estate, and personal possessions. Each asset should be valued at its market price as of the date of death. For bank accounts, this includes the balance plus any accrued, unpaid interest.

  2. Accurate Liability Documentation: All debts and liabilities of the deceased, such as mortgages, loans, and credit card debts, must be reported. The value of these liabilities is deducted from the total asset value to determine the net value of the estate.

  3. Critical Evaluation of Gifts and Exemptions: The form requires detailed information on any gifts given by the deceased in the seven years prior to their death. This section examines the impact of these gifts on the IHT calculation and considers various exemptions, such as the annual £3,000 gift allowance.

Calculating Inheritance Tax and Utilizing Reliefs

After detailing assets, liabilities, and applicable exemptions, the form guides the executor through the calculation of the IHT due. This calculation takes into account the nil-rate band (the threshold below which no IHT is due) and any applicable reliefs, such as Business Relief or Agricultural Relief, that can significantly reduce the tax liability.

Fulfilling the Declaration and Submission Requirements

The completion and submission of IHT406, along with IHT400, are critical to the legal and financial closure of the deceased's estate. Executors must sign a declaration affirming the accuracy of the information provided. This legal document, once submitted to HMRC along with any due tax payment, facilitates the next steps in the estate administration process, including the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.

Important Considerations for Executors and Administrators

  • Timeliness: The forms and any IHT due must be submitted within 12 months from the end of the month in which the death occurred to avoid potential penalties.

  • Professional Valuation: For complex estates or where the valuation of certain assets is uncertain, seeking a professional valuation can prevent disputes with HMRC and ensure the accuracy of the tax calculation.

  • Seeking Advice: The intricacies of IHT can be daunting. Professional advice from a tax advisor or solicitor specializing in estate planning and probate can provide clarity, ensure compliance, and potentially identify opportunities to minimize tax liabilities.

The role of IHT406 in the context of UK Inheritance Tax is to provide a detailed account of the deceased's financial assets and liabilities, ensuring a transparent and accurate tax calculation. By meticulously following the form's requirements and understanding the broader implications of estate valuation, executors can navigate the complexities of IHT with confidence, fulfilling their responsibilities to both HMRC and the beneficiaries of the estate.

Estate Planning and Inheritance Tax Strategies: Maximizing Efficiency for UK Taxpayers

The final piece of navigating the UK's Inheritance Tax (IHT) maze, especially when dealing with bank and building society accounts via form IHT406, focuses on strategic planning and common pitfalls to avoid. This segment aims to empower executors, administrators, and taxpayers with the knowledge to manage estates effectively, ensuring that their actions align with legal requirements while optimizing tax efficiency.

Strategies for Minimizing Inheritance Tax

  1. Utilize Allowances and Reliefs: Beyond the nil-rate band, which is the threshold below which no IHT is due, there are various allowances and reliefs that can reduce IHT liability. These include the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB), which provides an additional allowance if the deceased's home is passed to direct descendants, and reliefs for business and agricultural properties.

  2. Gifts and Exemptions: Making use of gift allowances can significantly reduce an estate's IHT liability. This includes the annual exemption of £3,000, small gifts exemption, and gifts out of surplus income. Planning and documentation are key, as the rules around gifting are strict and detailed records must be kept.

  3. Trust Planning: Trusts can be an effective way to manage assets, control how your estate is passed on, and potentially reduce IHT. Different types of trusts have different tax rules, so it's crucial to seek professional advice to ensure they're used effectively.

  4. Life Insurance Policies: A life insurance policy written in trust can provide a lump sum outside of the estate, not subject to IHT, which can help cover any IHT due or provide for beneficiaries directly.

  5. Charitable Donations: Leaving a portion of your estate to charity can reduce the overall IHT rate on the remainder of your estate. If you leave at least 10% of your net estate to charity, the IHT rate on the rest of the estate reduces from 40% to 36%.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  1. Failure to Keep Records: Inadequate record-keeping, especially regarding gifts and loans, can lead to complications and potential disputes with HMRC. Accurate and detailed records are essential for a smooth probate process and accurate IHT calculation.

  2. Overlooking Foreign Assets: For UK domiciled individuals, IHT applies to worldwide assets, not just those in the UK. Failing to consider foreign assets can lead to an underestimation of the estate's value and subsequent tax liabilities.

  3. Misunderstanding Exemptions and Reliefs: Incorrectly applying exemptions and reliefs can result in unnecessary IHT liabilities. It's vital to understand the criteria and limitations of each relief fully.

  4. Neglecting Estate Planning: Procrastination or neglecting to plan can leave an estate in a less favorable tax position. Early and comprehensive estate planning, ideally with professional advice, can optimize tax efficiency and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.

Managing the IHT implications of an estate, particularly concerning form IHT406 for bank and building society accounts, requires careful consideration and strategic planning. By utilizing available allowances and reliefs, keeping meticulous records, and considering the use of trusts and life insurance policies, the IHT liability can be significantly reduced. Charitable donations not only benefit good causes but can also lower the IHT rate applied to the estate.

Effective estate planning and tax strategy implementation can safeguard the financial interests of beneficiaries and ensure that the deceased's wishes are honored. As each estate is unique, tailored advice from financial and legal professionals is invaluable in navigating the complexities of IHT, avoiding common pitfalls, and maximizing the estate's value for future generations.

A Hypothetical Real-life Example

Let's explore a hypothetical example of how a British person, John Smith, might navigate the complexities of the UK's Inheritance Tax (IHT) system using Form IHT406. John, a widower, passed away in April 2024, leaving behind a sizeable estate, including various bank and building society accounts, to his two children.

Estate Details:

  • Bank Accounts: John had three bank accounts with balances of £20,000, £15,000, and £5,000 at the time of his death. He also held £2,000 in a cash ISA.

  • National Savings Accounts: Investments included £10,000 in Premium Bonds and £8,000 in National Savings Certificates.

  • Property and Assets: Besides financial accounts, John owned a house valued at £450,000 and a car worth £10,000.

Completing Form IHT406:

  • Bank and Building Society Accounts: Using Form IHT406, John's executor listed each account, providing details such as the institution's name, account numbers, and the balances at the date of death. The total reported on the form for these accounts was £42,000.

  • National Savings and Investments: The Premium Bonds and Savings Certificates were detailed separately, with their respective numbers and values, totaling £18,000.

IHT Calculations:

  • Total Estate Value: The cumulative value of John's estate, including property, was estimated at £520,000.

  • IHT Threshold: For the 2024/2025 tax year, the IHT threshold (nil-rate band) remained at £325,000. Additionally, John's estate qualified for the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) of £175,000, given the property was bequeathed to his direct descendants, bringing the total IHT-free allowance to £500,000.

  • IHT Liability: The taxable estate value was £20,000 (£520,000 - £500,000). The IHT rate is 40% on the amount above the threshold, resulting in an IHT bill of £8,000.

Execution and Payment:

John's executor used the detailed information from Form IHT406, along with other required forms, to complete the IHT400 form. The IHT of £8,000 was paid from the estate's assets before distributing the remaining assets according to John's will. His two children received the bulk of the estate, including the house and savings, after fulfilling all tax obligations.

This scenario illustrates the importance of accurate record-keeping and understanding of the IHT process, including the use of Form IHT406, to ensure compliance with UK tax laws and the efficient management of estate affairs.

How an Inheritance Tax Accountant Can Help You with Bank and Building Society Accounts in the Context of Inheritance Tax

How an Inheritance Tax Accountant Can Help You with Bank and Building Society Accounts in the Context of Inheritance Tax

When managing an estate in the UK, particularly regarding Inheritance Tax (IHT) implications for bank and building society accounts, the expertise of an Inheritance Tax Accountant becomes invaluable. This professional can navigate the complexities of IHT, ensuring compliance while optimizing the estate's tax position. Here's an overview of how they assist:

  1. Tax Planning and Advice: They provide strategic advice on how to manage and distribute assets to minimize IHT liability, considering allowances, exemptions, and potential reliefs.

  2. Valuation of Estate: Accountants accurately value the estate's assets, including bank and building society accounts, ensuring all valuations meet HMRC requirements.

  3. Completion and Submission of IHT Forms: They expertly complete essential forms like IHT406, detailing bank and building society accounts, and ensure timely submission to HMRC.

  4. Negotiating with HMRC: If discrepancies arise, the accountant acts as an intermediary, negotiating and resolving issues with HMRC on behalf of the estate.

  5. Advising on Payment of IHT: They provide guidance on efficient ways to settle any IHT due, potentially utilizing the estate's assets to cover the tax liability.

  6. Post-Submission Support: After submitting IHT forms, they offer ongoing support, handling any queries from HMRC and advising on any additional steps required.

An Inheritance Tax Accountant plays a crucial role in estate management, offering peace of mind that all financial and legal obligations are met, while also working to ensure the estate's assets are distributed according to the deceased's wishes in the most tax-efficient manner possible.


Q: What is Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK?

A: IHT is a tax on the estate of someone who has died, including all property, money, and possessions.

Q: Who needs to fill out Form IHT406?

A: Executors or administrators of an estate where the deceased held bank or building society accounts need to complete this form.

Q: What information do I need to gather before filling out IHT406?

A: You'll need details of all the deceased's bank and building society accounts, including account numbers and balances at the date of death.

Q: How does joint ownership of bank accounts affect IHT406?

A: Jointly owned accounts usually pass to the surviving owner, so they're not reported on IHT406 but may need to be considered for the overall estate valuation.

Q: Are ISAs included in Form IHT406?

A: Yes, cash ISAs held by the deceased must be reported on Form IHT406.

Q: How do I value the accounts for IHT purposes?

A: Accounts should be valued at the balance on the date of death, including any interest accrued up to that date.

Q: Can I deduct any debts from the account balances reported on IHT406?

A: No, debts are handled separately and not deducted from individual account balances on Form IHT406.

Q: What if I discover more accounts after submitting IHT406?

A: You should inform HMRC immediately and provide updated information.

Q: Are there penalties for incorrect or late submissions of IHT406?

A: Yes, HMRC may impose penalties for inaccuracies or delays, emphasizing the importance of timely and accurate submission.

Q: How does IHT406 fit into the overall IHT return?

A: IHT406 is part of the wider IHT400 estate report, contributing to the total estate value for calculating IHT liability.

Q: Can IHT be paid from the deceased's accounts?

A: Yes, HMRC allows IHT to be paid directly from the deceased's bank or building society accounts under the Direct Payment Scheme.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting IHT406? A: IHT406 should be submitted alongside Form IHT400, typically within 12 months of the death.

Q: How do I report foreign bank accounts on IHT406?

A: Foreign accounts are reported on a separate form, IHT417, not on IHT406.

Q: Can I claim any reliefs or exemptions on bank accounts for IHT?

A: While bank accounts themselves don't qualify for reliefs, the overall IHT calculation may be affected by available exemptions and thresholds.

Q: What happens if the account balances change after submitting IHT406?

A: You should report significant changes to HMRC, but minor interest accruals after death are usually not adjusted.

Q: Do I need to include digital or online-only bank accounts on IHT406? .

A: Yes, all accounts, whether traditional, digital, or online-only, must be reported if they were solely in the deceased's name.

Q: How do Premium Bonds get treated on IHT406?

A: Premium Bonds are listed with their value at the date of death, including any unclaimed prizes.

Q: Is professional valuation required for bank accounts?

A: No, professional valuation isn't necessary for bank accounts; statements or correspondence from the bank suffices.

Q: How do I handle accounts that are in overdraft?

A: Overdrafts are considered liabilities and are reported on a different part of the estate's IHT report, not on IHT406.

Q: What resources are available for help with completing IHT406?

A: HMRC provides guidance notes for IHT406, and professional advice from tax advisors or solicitors can be invaluable.

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