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What is Agricultural Relief form IHT414?

Understanding Agricultural Relief (Form IHT414)

Introduction to Agricultural Relief and Form IHT414

Agricultural Relief (AR) is a key component of estate planning and tax management for UK taxpayers, particularly those involved in agricultural activities. This relief is crucial for reducing Inheritance Tax (IHT) on agricultural properties. Form IHT414 plays a central role in this process, being used to deduct Agricultural Relief on Form IHT400 for various agricultural assets within a deceased's estate​​​​.

What is Agricultural Relief form IHT414

What Qualifies for Agricultural Relief

Agricultural property that qualifies for AR includes land or pasture used for growing crops or rearing animals. It also encompasses:

  • Growing crops and stud farms for breeding.

  • Woodlands and buildings used in the intensive rearing of animals if associated with agricultural land or pasture.

  • Grazing land under your responsibility.

  • Cottages, farm buildings, and farmhouses of a character appropriate to the property​​​​.

Recent Updates and Eligibility Criteria

As of the 2023 Budget, from April 6, 2024, AR will be restricted to agricultural property situated only in the UK. This marks a significant change from previous rules that extended the relief to the European Economic Area (EEA) as well.

Rate of Relief

The AR can be claimed at two different rates – 100% or 50%, depending on factors like the duration of ownership and the nature of agricultural use. For example, a property needs to have been:

  • Occupied by the transferor for agriculture purposes for two years ending with the date of the transfer.

  • Owned by the transferor for seven years ending with the date of transfer and occupied throughout by them or another for agricultural purposes.

The Agricultural Value and Its Implications

The agricultural value of a property is considered for APR, meaning its value if it were restricted only to agricultural use. This value is usually lower than market value, which affects the extent of AR applicable. For instance, land with granted planning permission is valued for APR as if the planning does not apply​​.

Cases Influencing AR Interpretation

Several legal cases have shaped the understanding and application of AR, including:

  • Richard Williams v HMRC [2005]: Discussed the term "ancillary" for AR qualification.

  • Lloyds TSB Bank Plc (Antrobus Deceased) v Inland Revenue [2002]: Explored factors determining if a farmhouse's character is appropriate for AR.

  • Dixon v Inland Revenue [2001]: Examined whether a cottage, garden, and orchard could be considered agricultural property.

Ownership Duration and AR Claims

For AR claims, there are specific conditions related to the duration of ownership and the status of occupation:

  1. If the property is owned and occupied, ownership must be proven for two years prior to the transfer.

  2. If the property is owned but not occupied, proof of ownership for seven years is required, showing the property was used for agricultural purposes throughout this period.

Trusts and Agricultural Property

When agricultural property is held in Trust, trustees are considered the legal owners and occupiers for AR purposes. It's essential for trustees to have a comprehensive understanding of all assets to ensure AR is not wasted.

Detailed Guidelines for Claiming Agricultural Relief

This part focuses on the guidelines and specific conditions under which Agricultural Relief (AR) can be claimed in the UK.

Eligibility for Agricultural Relief

Agricultural Relief applies to certain types of agricultural property, including:

  • Land or pasture for growing crops or rearing animals.

  • Stud farms, short-rotation coppice, and land under specific farming schemes.

  • Agricultural shares and securities, farm buildings, cottages, and farmhouses.

Items that do not qualify for AR include farm equipment, derelict buildings, harvested crops, livestock, and property under a sale contract.

Ownership and Occupation Period

For a property to qualify for AR, it must have been owned and occupied for agricultural purposes for:

  • 2 years if occupied by the owner, their company, spouse, or civil partner.

  • 7 years if occupied by someone else.

Farmhouses and Cottages

Farmhouses and cottages eligible for AR must be appropriate in nature and size to the farming activity. Their value is based on agricultural use, and any excess value does not qualify for relief. Occupants of these properties should be involved in farming, either as employees, retirees, or their spouses or civil partners.

Rates of Agricultural Relief

AR is granted at:

  • 100% for land farmed by the owner, used under a short-term grazing license, or let on a tenancy starting on/after September 1, 1995.

  • 50% in other cases, such as properties owned before March 10, 1981, but qualifying under certain historical criteria.

Agricultural Shares and Securities

Shares and securities in a company can be eligible for AR if they:

  • Gave the deceased control of the company at the time of death.

  • Derive value from agricultural property forming part of the company's assets.

Gifts of Agricultural Property

AR can apply to gifted agricultural property if:

  • The recipient holds it until their or the donor's death.

  • The property has been used for agricultural purposes since the gift.

If sold to a company for shares, those shares are treated as the original gifted property.

Replacement Agricultural Property

If agricultural property qualifying for AR is replaced by another qualifying property:

  • Sale proceeds must be used to purchase the replacement property.

  • Sale and purchase should be independent transactions within 3 years of each other.

Conditions for gifts of agricultural property apply to replacement properties as well.

Business Relief and Agricultural Relief

Business Relief cannot be claimed on assets already covered by AR. However, if Agricultural Relief doesn't fully cover an asset's value, Business Relief might be applicable.

How to Fill Agricultural Relief Form IHT414 - A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Preparation Before starting, read the guidance notes for form IHT414 in the IHT400 Notes. Also, ensure you have a plan showing the location and extent of the agricultural holding.

Step 2: Basic Information

  • Section 1: Provide the address and a full description of the agricultural holding. Fill in form IHT405 for details of the property.

  • Section 2: Describe how and when the deceased acquired the holding.

Step 3: Contract and Planning Consents

  • Section 3: Indicate if the holding was subject to a binding contract for sale at the transfer date.

  • Section 4: Note any outstanding planning consents on the holding.

Step 4: Farming Activities

  • Section 5: Detail the day-to-day farming activities carried out on the land during the seven years prior to the transfer (or ownership period if less than seven years).

  • Section 6: Describe the deceased's involvement in these activities during the two years before the transfer.

Step 5: Let Land

  • Section 7: Indicate if the land was subject to a lease, license, or tenancy before the transfer.

  • Section 8-10: Provide details of the lease, including to whom the land was let, the start date of the letting, and the original duration.

Step 6: Relief Percentage

  • Section 11: Choose whether you are deducting agricultural relief at 50% or 100%. Include a copy of the tenancy agreement if applicable.

Step 7: Farmhouses and Cottages

  • Section 12-15: Fill in this section only if deducting AR on farmhouses and cottages. Address occupancy, unoccupancy, and type of tenancy for each property.

Step 8: Farm Buildings

  • Section 16: Provide a detailed description of any farm buildings, stating who used them and for what purpose.

Step 9: Lifetime Transfers

  • Section 17-20: Answer questions related to agricultural relief on a gift, including ownership, occupation, and binding contracts for sale.

Step 10: Additional Information

  • Section 21: Use this section for any further details or if you need more space for your answers.

Final Steps:

  • Attach any necessary documents, like a plan of the property or tenancy agreements.

  • Review the form thoroughly to ensure all information is accurate and complete.


  • Submit the completed form alongside Form IHT400 as part of the Inheritance Tax reporting process.

This guide provides a general overview of how to complete the IHT414 form. It's advisable to consult with a professional for specific advice tailored to individual circumstances.

Practical Considerations and Challenges in Claiming Agricultural Relief

In this final part, we delve into the practical aspects and common challenges of claiming Agricultural Relief (AR) in the UK, particularly in light of recent changes and considerations.

Recent Changes and Their Implications

  • Geographical Restrictions: From April 6, 2024, AR and woodlands relief will be restricted to assets situated in the UK. This change affects individuals and trustees holding qualifying assets in the EEA, Channel Islands, or Isle of Man​​.

  • Review and Consultation: The government is reviewing AR's application, including tenant farming durations for qualifying and potential expansion to certain types of environmental land management. This review may lead to policy updates affecting land in environmental schemes​​.

Practical Issues in Claiming AR

  • Successive Transfers: APR can be available on successive transfers where the two-year occupation or seven-year ownership conditions are not met individually.

  • Land Outside a Farm Partnership: Special considerations are needed when land is held outside of a farm partnership or company. In some cases, personal land occupation used by a farming company can qualify for APR sooner.

  • Replacement Property Rules: Specific rules apply when qualifying property for APR is replaced within two years before death.

  • Chargeable Lifetime Transfers: APR can be clawed back on lifetime gifts subject to Inheritance Tax if the donor dies within seven years and the trust no longer holds the assets.

Farmhouse Considerations

  • Character Appropriateness: Cottages, farm buildings, and farmhouses must be appropriate to the property, meaning they should be proportionate in size and nature to the farming activities​​.

Business Property Relief (BPR) and Its Interaction with AR

  • BPR Eligibility: BPR is available at different rates, depending on asset usage in a partnership or as partnership assets.

  • BPR Criteria: To qualify for BPR, a business must be operational for gain, not consist mainly of dealing in land, buildings, or holding investments, and owned by the transferor or deceased for at least two years before transfer or death.

  • Challenges with Mixed-Use Businesses: Determining BPR eligibility can be challenging in mixed-use businesses, where non-qualifying activities like letting cottages are involved.

How to Claim APR and BPR

  • Filing Requirements: Claiming APR and/or BPR is part of the IHT400 Inheritance Tax Account. Specific schedules (IHT414 for APR and IHT413 for BPR) are required, detailing land use, tenancies, and other relevant information.

So in this section, we have addressed practical considerations and challenges in claiming Agricultural Relief in the UK, including recent changes, succession and transfer issues, farmhouse qualifications, and the interaction between APR and BPR. These insights are essential for UK taxpayers, especially those in the agricultural sector, to navigate the complexities of AR and optimize their tax positions. This comprehensive overview of Agricultural Relief, spanning three parts, offers valuable guidance for UK taxpayers seeking to understand and benefit from this important tax relief mechanism.

How an Inheritance Tax Accountant Can Help With Agricultural Relief

How an Inheritance Tax Accountant Can Help With Agricultural Relief

Understanding Agricultural Relief and Its Complexities

Agricultural Relief (AR) for Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK presents a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Given the complexity of the legislation and the intricacies involved in claiming AR, the role of an inheritance tax accountant is pivotal. These professionals possess the expertise to navigate the complicated landscape of AR, ensuring that eligible landowners and farmers maximize their tax relief benefits.

Expert Guidance on Eligibility and Conditions

An inheritance tax accountant can provide expert guidance on the eligibility criteria for AR. They can advise on what constitutes 'agricultural property', which is essential for the relief. This includes land or pasture used for crops or rearing animals, certain types of woodland, farm buildings, and cottages. The accountant can also clarify items that do not qualify for AR, such as farm equipment and machinery, ensuring clients are fully aware of what assets can be included in their claims.

Navigating Ownership and Occupation Rules

Ownership and occupation rules for claiming AR are intricate. An accountant can help in determining the duration for which the property must have been owned and occupied for agricultural purposes - two years if occupied by the owner or seven years if by someone else. This guidance is crucial in ensuring compliance and in making a successful claim.

Specialized Advice on Farmhouses and Cottages

Valuing farmhouses and cottages for AR can be challenging. An accountant can assist in assessing whether these buildings are of a character appropriate to the farming activity, which is a requirement for claiming AR. Their expertise ensures that the value attributed to these properties for AR purposes is accurate and justifiable.

Clarification on Rates and Successive Transfers

The rates of AR (100% or 50%) can be confusing, especially in cases of successive transfers or where different ownership conditions apply. An inheritance tax accountant can clarify these rates and how they apply to individual circumstances, ensuring clients claim the correct rate of relief​​.

Handling Agricultural Shares and Securities

Claiming AR on agricultural shares and securities requires specific knowledge. An accountant can guide clients on eligibility and how these assets are treated under AR, ensuring that the relief claimed is accurate and maximized.

Advising on Gifts and Replacement Property Rules

The rules around gifts of agricultural property and replacement properties are complex. An accountant can provide essential advice on how these are treated under AR, including the conditions that must be met and the implications of selling or replacing gifted or inherited agricultural property.

Leveraging Business Property Relief (BPR)

Understanding the interaction between AR and BPR is crucial. An accountant can advise on how to apply for both reliefs in a way that maximizes the benefits, especially when AR does not cover the full value of an asset​​.

Compliance and Documentation

One of the key roles of an inheritance tax accountant is to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and requirements. They can assist in preparing and submitting the necessary documentation, such as the IHT400 Inheritance Tax Account and the specific schedules for claiming AR and BPR.

An inheritance tax accountant is invaluable in navigating the complexities of Agricultural Relief in the UK. Their expertise in understanding eligibility, calculating the correct rates of relief, handling special cases like gifts and replacement properties, and ensuring compliance with all necessary documentation and regulations, makes them an essential resource for individuals and trustees looking to maximize their AR benefits. With their guidance, the process of claiming AR becomes more manageable, accurate, and beneficial for those in the agricultural sector.

FAQs about Agricultural Relief (Form IHT414)

Q1: Can AR be claimed on agricultural land leased to a third party?

A: Yes, AR can be claimed on leased land if certain conditions regarding ownership and occupation are met.

Q2: Does AR apply to non-agricultural activities on a farm, like a farm shop?

A: No, AR typically does not cover non-agricultural activities, though this may vary based on specific circumstances.

Q3: How is 'agricultural value' different from market value in the context of AR? A: Agricultural value refers to the value of the property if it were restricted to agricultural use, often lower than the market value.

Q4: Can AR be claimed on a property with a mix of agricultural and non-agricultural land? A: AR may be claimed on the agricultural part of the property, but specific assessment is required.

Q5: Is there a time limit for claiming AR after the transfer of agricultural property?

A: Yes, there is a time limit tied to the IHT reporting deadlines, which is typically within 12 months of the end of the month of death.

Q6: Can AR be applied retroactively if it was not claimed initially?

A: Retroactive claims might be possible in some cases, but professional advice is necessary.

Q7: Are there any penalties for incorrectly claiming AR?

A: Yes, if AR is claimed incorrectly, HMRC may impose penalties.

Q8: Can AR be claimed if the agricultural property is mortgaged?

A: Yes, AR can still be claimed, but the mortgage might affect the relief's net benefit.

Q9: Does AR apply to fisheries and aquaculture?

A: AR can apply to certain types of fisheries and aquaculture, but specific conditions must be met.

Q10: How does divorce or separation impact AR on jointly owned agricultural property? A: The impact varies and depends on the ownership structure post-divorce or separation.

Q11: Can AR be claimed by non-residents owning agricultural property in the UK?

A: Yes, non-residents can claim AR on eligible UK agricultural property.

Q12: How does AR interact with other forms of agricultural subsidies or grants?

A: AR is independent of agricultural subsidies, but the use of the land under subsidy schemes may affect eligibility.

Q13: Can AR be claimed on agricultural property held in a family trust?

A: Yes, but the trust's structure and operation will determine how AR is applied.

Q14: Does AR cover woodland on agricultural property?

A: Yes, provided the woodland is ancillary to the agricultural land.

Q15: How is AR calculated for part-time or hobby farming?

A: The same criteria apply, but the property's primary use must be agricultural.

Q16: Can AR be transferred to a new owner if the agricultural property is sold?

A: AR is not transferable but can be claimed by the new owner if they meet the conditions.

Q17: Are there restrictions on altering the use of land after claiming AR?

A: Yes, changing the use may affect the eligibility for AR and future claims.

Q18: How does AR apply to renewable energy installations on a farm?

A: It depends on how these installations are integrated into the farm’s operations.

Q19: Can AR be claimed for agricultural research facilities?

A: Only if they are integral to the agricultural use of the land.

Q20: Is professional valuation necessary for claiming AR?

A: Professional valuation is advisable to establish the agricultural value accurately.

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