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What are HMRC Forms IHT403 and IHT402?

Introduction to HMRC Form IHT402 and Its Importance

What is HMRC Form IHT402?

In the United Kingdom, HMRC Form IHT402 is a crucial document that plays a significant role in the realm of inheritance tax. This form is used to transfer any unused Inheritance Tax threshold, also known as the 'nil rate band,' from a previously deceased spouse or civil partner to the deceased's estate. The form is interactive and must be completed using Adobe Reader software.

What is HMRC Form IHT402

Why is it Important?

The importance of HMRC Form IHT402 cannot be overstated. It allows for the transfer of unused nil rate bands, thereby potentially reducing the inheritance tax liability on the deceased's estate. This is particularly beneficial for spouses or civil partners, as it enables them to maximize the tax-free allowance available to them.

Recent Updates

It's crucial to stay updated with the latest changes to the form. As of June 13, 2023, the IHT402 form has been updated with changes to the wording on questions 12, 13, 18, and 19. Earlier, on March 23, 2023, the form was updated to remove the 'Pensions' box as it was no longer needed. These updates reflect the evolving nature of tax laws and regulations, making it imperative to use the most current version of the form.

How Does it Work with IHT400?

The IHT402 form is used in conjunction with Form IHT400. While Form IHT400 is the main inheritance tax return form, the IHT402 form specifically deals with the transfer of unused nil rate bands. Together, these forms provide a comprehensive approach to managing inheritance tax liabilities.

Key Features of the Form

Interactive Nature: The form is interactive, meaning it can be completed on-screen using Adobe Reader.

Detailed Questions: The form contains specific questions that guide you through the process of transferring the unused nil rate band.

Recent Updates: Always check for the most recent version of the form, as it is regularly updated to align with current tax laws.

Who Should Use It?

If you are the executor or administrator of an estate where the deceased had a spouse or civil partner who did not use up their entire nil rate band, then this form is for you. It allows you to claim the unused portion and apply it to the current estate, potentially saving thousands in taxes.

How to Access the Form

The form is available for download on the official GOV.UK website. It's essential to download the latest version to ensure compliance with current laws and regulations.

Understanding HMRC Form IHT402 is the first step in efficiently managing inheritance tax liabilities. From its purpose to its key features and recent updates, this form is an essential tool for anyone involved in the administration of an estate. In the next part, we will delve deeper into the technical aspects of the form, including how to fill it out and common mistakes to avoid.

How to Fill Out HMRC Form IHT402 – A Step By Step Guide

The IHT402 form is a crucial document when it comes to inheritance tax planning, especially for couples. This form allows you to claim the unused nil rate band from the estate of a deceased spouse or civil partner. Understanding how to fill out this form accurately can save you a lot of time and potentially a lot of money. Let's delve into the specifics of how to fill out different sections of the IHT402 form, focusing on the spouse or civil partner's estate and the transferable nil rate band.

Section 1: Personal Details of the Deceased

In this section, you'll need to provide the full name, date of death, and last address of the deceased person. This is crucial for identification and ensures that the form is matched to the correct estate.

Section 2: Executor or Administrator Information

Here, you'll enter the details of the person responsible for administering the estate. This could be you or another individual. Make sure to include contact information, as HMRC may need to get in touch for further clarification.

Section 3: Spouse or Civil Partner’s Details

This section is dedicated to the details of the spouse or civil partner of the deceased. You'll need to provide their name, date of death, and whether they were legally married or in a civil partnership at the time of their death.

Section 4: Previous Marriage or Civil Partnership

If the deceased was previously married or in a civil partnership, this section is where you'll provide those details. This is important because it can affect the unused nil rate band.

Section 5: Estate Valuation

This section requires you to provide an estimated value of the deceased's estate. This includes all assets and liabilities. Be as accurate as possible, as this will affect the Inheritance Tax calculations.

Sections 6 to 9:

These sections ask for details about the spouse or civil partner who died first. You'll need to indicate whether they left a will and what the net value of their estate was. If a grant of representation was obtained for their estate, you must enclose a copy. You'll also need to provide the Inheritance Tax, Capital Transfer Tax, or Estate Duty nil rate band in force at the date of their death.

Sections 10 to 11:

These sections ask for the total chargeable value of gifts and other transfers made in the 7 years before the date of death. You'll then calculate the nil rate band available against the estate of the spouse or civil partner who died first.

Section 12:

This is where you indicate the value of any residence nil rate band (RNRB) used, which only applies to deaths on or after April 6, 2017.

Sections 13 to 17:

These sections are where you list legacies and assets, the share of assets jointly owned, assets held in trust, and gifts with reservation made by the spouse or civil partner who died first. You'll then sum these up to get the total chargeable estate.

Sections 18 to 21:

Here, you'll calculate the nil rate band available for transfer. This is done by taking the nil rate band available against the estate of the spouse or civil partner who died first and subtracting the total chargeable estate. You'll then calculate the percentage by which to increase the nil rate band available on the deceased's death. Finally, you'll find out the transferable nil rate band by multiplying this percentage by the nil rate band at the date of the deceased's death.

Section 22:

This section is for listing any exemptions or reliefs that have been taken into account in the values you've entered in the previous sections.

Section 23:

This is a special section for those domiciled in Scotland, asking whether anyone was entitled to claim the legitim fund.

Important Notes and Tips

  • Always refer to the notes provided on the form for each section. They offer valuable guidance.

  • Make sure to enclose all required documents, such as copies of the will, grant of representation, or death certificate.

  • If you're unsure about any exemptions or reliefs, consult the 'IHT400 Notes' or seek professional advice.

Understanding how to properly fill out the IHT402 form can be a complex task, but it's crucial for maximizing the benefits available to the estate of the surviving spouse or civil partner. Take your time, double-check your numbers, and don't hesitate to seek professional help if you need it.

Technicalities of Filling Out HMRC Form IHT402

Understanding the Purpose of the Form

The primary objective of HMRC Form IHT402 is to help taxpayers quantify the chargeable value of an estate upon the first death. This value is then deducted from the nil rate band applicable at the time of the first death, allowing the calculation of the unused nil rate band. This unused portion can then be transferred to the estate of the second deceased spouse or civil partner.

Calculating the Chargeable Value

When filling out the form, it's crucial to use values that reflect the chargeable value of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes as of the date of the first death. This means that no allowances should be made for costs, and the legatees' actual receipts should not be considered.

Deductions and Exemptions

The form also provides guidance on what deductions should or should not be made. For instance, if a property was jointly owned with the surviving spouse or civil partner and passed to chargeable beneficiaries, no joint property deduction should be made. This is in line with the related property provision in IHTA84/S161. On the other hand, if a property was wholly owned by the deceased and left between their spouse and child, spouse exemption for the full value of a half share should be allowed.

Joint Property Deductions

In cases where the property was jointly owned between the deceased, their surviving spouse or civil partner, and others, the normal joint property deduction will apply. This is calculated between the deceased and their spouse or civil partner and the other joint owner(s).

Reviewing Forms IHT402 and IHT216

Both Form IHT402 and Form IHT216 are designed to gather information that helps in quantifying the chargeable value of the estate on the first death. While IHT402 focuses on the transfer of unused nil rate bands, IHT216 is used to claim transferable residence nil rate bands. It's essential to review both forms carefully to ensure all relevant details are accurately provided.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Using Outdated Forms: Always use the most recent version of the form, as outdated forms may lack essential updates.

Incorrect Calculations: Ensure that all calculations are accurate to avoid potential issues with HMRC.

Overlooking Deductions: Be mindful of the deductions that can and cannot be made to ensure you're maximizing the available nil rate band.

Expert Tips

Consult a Tax Advisor: For complex estates, it's advisable to consult a tax advisor who specializes in inheritance tax.

Double-Check All Entries: Before submitting, double-check all entries to ensure they are accurate and complete.

Keep Records: Always keep a copy of the completed form and any supporting documents for your records.

Real-Life Applications and Advanced Strategies for HMRC Form IHT402

Real-Life Scenarios

Understanding the technicalities of HMRC Form IHT402 is one thing, but how does it apply in real-life situations? Let's delve into some scenarios:

  • Married Couple with Children: In a typical family setup, the unused nil rate band from the first deceased spouse can be transferred to the surviving spouse. This can significantly reduce the inheritance tax burden when the second spouse passes away, ensuring that more wealth is passed on to the children.

  • Civil Partnerships: Similar to married couples, civil partners can also benefit from transferring the unused nil rate band. This is particularly useful for same-sex couples who want to maximize the assets passed on to their heirs.

  • High-Value Estates: For estates that exceed the nil rate band, the transferable nil rate band can offer substantial tax savings. This is often the case with estates that include valuable assets like property or investments.

Advanced Strategies

Lifetime Gifts: One way to maximize the benefits of the nil rate band is through lifetime gifts. These are gifts given more than seven years before the donor's death and can reduce the value of the estate, thereby increasing the unused nil rate band.

  • Trusts: Establishing a trust can also be a strategic move. Assets placed in a trust are generally not considered part of the estate, which can increase the unused nil rate band.

  • Charitable Donations: Leaving a portion of the estate to charity can not only serve a good cause but also reduce the estate's value for inheritance tax purposes.

Keeping Up with Updates

It's crucial to stay updated with the latest changes to HMRC Form IHT402. For instance, as of June 13, 2023, the form has been updated with changes to wording on questions 12, 13, 18, and 19. Additionally, the 'Pensions' box has been removed, and information about the residence nil rate band has been included.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the complexities of inheritance tax and the associated forms can be challenging. However, with a clear understanding of HMRC Form IHT402 and strategic planning, you can maximize the assets passed on to your heirs while minimizing the tax burden.

What is HMRC Form IHT403

Introduction to HMRC Form IHT403 and Its Importance

When it comes to inheritance tax (IHT) in the United Kingdom, HMRC Form IHT403 is a document that often comes into play. This form is an essential part of the inheritance tax process, specifically dealing with gifts and other transfers of value. But what exactly is this form, and why is it so crucial? In this article, we'll delve deep into the intricacies of HMRC Form IHT403, its importance, and how it functions within the UK's tax system.

What is HMRC Form IHT403?

HMRC Form IHT403 is a form used in the United Kingdom for reporting gifts and other transfers of value that may be subject to inheritance tax. This form is submitted to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK's tax authority, as part of the IHT400 series of forms. The IHT400 series is a comprehensive set of documents required when someone dies, and their estate needs to be assessed for inheritance tax.

Why is HMRC Form IHT403 Important?

The importance of this form lies in its role in the IHT assessment process. When a person dies, their estate may be subject to inheritance tax, depending on its value and other factors. Gifts and transfers made by the deceased before their death can also impact the amount of tax due. HMRC Form IHT403 helps in providing a detailed account of such gifts and transfers, allowing for a more accurate calculation of the inheritance tax liability.

Types of Gifts Covered

The form covers various types of gifts, including:

  • Outright Gifts: These are straightforward gifts given to someone with no strings attached.

  • Gifts with Reservation: These are gifts where the giver retains some benefit, like continuing to live in a property they've gifted.

  • Gifts into Trust: These are gifts placed into a trust for the benefit of specific individuals.

Timeframe for Reporting Gifts

The form requires information on gifts made within the seven years before the individual's death. This seven-year rule is crucial because gifts made within this period could be subject to inheritance tax. However, some gifts may be exempt from IHT if they meet specific criteria, which we'll discuss later.

Who Should Fill Out the Form?

The executors or administrators of the deceased's estate are generally responsible for filling out HMRC Form IHT403. They must provide accurate details about the gifts and transfers made by the deceased, as any discrepancies can lead to penalties.

How to Obtain the Form

You can download HMRC Form IHT403 from the official HMRC website. It's essential to read the accompanying notes and guidelines to ensure that you fill out the form correctly.

Key Sections of the Form

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

Section A: Details of the deceased

Section B: Information about the person filling out the form

Section C: Details of the gifts and transfers

In the next part of this article, we'll go into the nitty-gritty of how to fill out these sections, the exemptions available, and the penalties for non-compliance. Stay tuned for an in-depth look into the world of HMRC Form IHT403.

How to Fill Out HMRC Form IHT403 and Available Exemptions

Now that we have a foundational understanding of what HMRC Form IHT403 is and its significance, let's dive into the details of how to fill it out. This part will also cover the exemptions available that can potentially reduce the inheritance tax liability.

Filling Out the Form: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the labyrinth of tax forms can be a daunting task. When it comes to dealing with inheritance tax in the UK, the HMRC Form IHT403 is one you can't ignore if you're an executor or administrator of an estate. This form is essentially a declaration of gifts and other transfers of value made by the deceased. The form might look intimidating at first glance, but don't worry; we're going to break down each section to make the filling process as smooth as possible for you.

Section 1: About the Deceased

Full Name and Date of Death

Start off by entering the full name of the deceased and the date they passed away. Make sure the name matches the one on official records to avoid any complications.

National Insurance Number or Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

You'll need the deceased's National Insurance number or Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you're unsure where to find these, they can often be located on tax documents or previous correspondence with HMRC.


Enter the last address of the deceased. This should be the residential address, and not a P.O. Box or business address.

Section 2: About the Executor or Administrator

Your Name and Capacity

Fill in your name and specify your role as either the executor or the administrator of the estate.

Contact Information

Your mailing address, phone number, and email address go here. Make sure to keep this information updated, as HMRC may need to contact you for additional details.

Section 3: About the Gifts

Gift Date and Value

List the date when each gift was given, and its corresponding value. Make sure you don't include gifts that are less than £3,000 in total value for any tax year or small gifts of £250 or less.

Recipient's Details

Enter the name and address of the person or entity who received the gift. It's crucial to be accurate, as this can impact the inheritance tax calculation.

Exemptions Claimed

If any of the gifts fall under exemptions like spousal transfers, note that here.

Section 4: Transfers of Assets

Description of Assets

Describe the asset that was transferred. This could be anything from a house to shares in a company. Be as specific as possible.

Date and Value of Transfer

Like with the gifts, mention the date the asset was transferred and its value at that time.

To Whom Was the Asset Transferred?

Provide details about the recipient of the asset. If it was transferred to a trust, mention the name of the trust and its trustees.

Section 5: Jointly Owned Assets

Type and Proportion

For assets that were owned jointly by the deceased and another person, you'll need to describe the type of asset and the deceased's proportion of ownership.

Value of the Deceased’s Share

Enter the value of the deceased’s share of each jointly owned asset. This is crucial for an accurate inheritance tax assessment.

Section 6: Liabilities Related to Gifts or Assets

Description of Liability

If there were any liabilities related to the gifts or transferred assets, you would describe them here. For example, if a loan was taken to purchase a gifted property, mention the details.

Amount and Date Incurred

Specify the amount of the liability and the date it was incurred. This information will be considered when calculating the net value of gifts or transferred assets.

To Whom is the Liability Owed?

Provide the name and address of the individual or entity to whom the liability is owed. This could be a financial institution, a private lender, or even a family member.

Section 7: Additional Information

Any Other Relevant Information

This is your opportunity to include any additional information that could be relevant to the form but didn't fit into the previous sections. It’s always better to over-communicate than to leave out something crucial.

Section 8: Declaration and Signature

Confirm Accuracy

Before signing, you must confirm that the information provided is complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. This is a legally binding statement, so double-check all your entries.

Signature and Date

Once you're confident that all the information is accurate and complete, sign and date the form. If you're filling it out electronically, a digital signature will suffice.

Final Steps: Submission

Finally, once you've completed filling out all sections of the HMRC Form IHT403, you can submit it to the HMRC. Make sure to keep copies of the form and any supporting documents, as you may need them later for reference or in case of a query from the HMRC.


Maintaining accurate records is crucial when filling out HMRC Form IHT403. Keep all relevant documentation, such as bank statements, property deeds, and any correspondence related to the gifts. This will not only make the process of filling out the form easier but also serve as evidence in case of any discrepancies.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

It's essential to fill out the form accurately and honestly. Providing false information can lead to severe penalties, including fines and potential legal action. Therefore, if you're unsure about any aspect of the form, it's advisable to consult a tax advisor or legal expert.

Submission Process

Once the form is completed, it should be submitted along with the other IHT400 series forms. You can send it by post to the HMRC or submit it online if you have the necessary credentials.

Practical Tips and Frequently Asked Questions About HMRC Form IHT403

In this concluding part of our comprehensive guide on HMRC Form IHT403, we'll focus on some practical tips for filling out the form and address frequently asked questions. This section aims to equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to navigate the complexities of this crucial document in the UK's inheritance tax system.

Practical Tips for Filling Out the Form

Start Early: Given the detailed nature of the form, it's advisable to start filling it out as soon as possible. This will give you ample time to gather all the necessary information and documents.

Consult Experts: If the estate is complex or involves various types of gifts and transfers, consulting a tax advisor or legal expert can be invaluable.

Double-Check Values: Ensure that the values of the gifts and transfers are accurate and up-to-date. Any discrepancies can lead to penalties.

Be Transparent: Honesty is crucial when filling out HMRC Form IHT403. If you're unsure about any information, it's better to state this on the form rather than guess.

Keep Copies: Always keep copies of the completed form and any supporting documents. This can be useful for future reference or in case of an audit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I fill out HMRC Form IHT403 online?

A: Yes, the form can be filled out and submitted online through the HMRC website, provided you have the necessary credentials.

Q: What happens if I make a mistake on the form?

A: If you realize you've made an error after submitting the form, it's essential to contact HMRC as soon as possible to correct the mistake. This can help you avoid potential penalties.

Q: Are gifts to non-UK residents subject to inheritance tax?

A: Generally, the tax liability is based on the domicile of the deceased, not the recipient. Therefore, gifts to non-UK residents can still be subject to UK inheritance tax.

Q: Can I amend the form after it's been submitted?

A: Yes, amendments can be made after the form has been submitted, but it's crucial to inform HMRC immediately to avoid complications.

Q: How long does it take for HMRC to process the form?

A: The processing time can vary depending on the complexity of the estate and the volume of forms HMRC is handling. However, it generally takes between six to eight weeks.

Q: Is there a deadline for submitting the form?

A: The form should be submitted within 12 months of the end of the month in which the death occurred. Failing to meet this deadline can result in penalties.

By now, you should have a comprehensive understanding of HMRC Form IHT403, from its importance and types of gifts covered to how to fill it out and the available exemptions. This form is a critical component of the UK's inheritance tax system, and understanding its nuances can save you time, effort, and potentially money. Whether you're an executor, administrator, or someone planning their estate, this knowledge is invaluable in navigating the complexities of inheritance tax in the UK.

The latest updates on HMRC Forms IHT403 and IHT402 in 2023 are as follows:

IHT402 Updates:

Wording Changes: On 13 June 2023, the IHT402 form saw amendments in the wording on questions 12, 13, 18, and 19.

Removal of Pensions Box: Prior to that, on 23 March 2023, the 'Pensions' box was removed from the form as it was deemed unnecessary.

IHT403 Updates:

The official page for the IHT403 form on the GOV.UK website last lists the update as of 1 June 2020, which suggests there may not have been significant updates to the form in 2023​3​. However, the exact updates in 2023 are not readily available on the page or other sources accessed.

Related Developments:

In 2023, the UK is progressing towards digital tax management, and some changes are expected due to the overlap of completing tax returns for the year ending 5th April 2023 and starting the first quarterly returns for the year ending 5th April 2024. Moreover, on 31 March 2023, some exemptions and reliefs in Inheritance Tax were noted, particularly concerning gifts and their immediate freedom from Inheritance Tax (IHT) under certain conditions.

How a Personal Tax Accountant Can Help You with HMRC Forms IHT403 and IHT402

How a Personal Tax Accountant Can Help You with HMRC Forms IHT403 and IHT402

Dealing with inheritance tax forms can be a meticulous, time-consuming task, especially when you're trying to settle an estate or divide assets among heirs. Two critical forms in the UK inheritance tax landscape are the HMRC Forms IHT403 and IHT402. While both forms might seem straightforward at first glance, the details can quickly become overwhelming. That's where a personal tax accountant can be a godsend. Below are ways a personal tax accountant can assist you in making the process as smooth as possible.

Navigating Complex Tax Laws

Inheritance tax laws are complicated and ever-changing. A personal tax accountant, well-versed in the current tax code, can guide you through the labyrinthine rules that apply to your specific situation. Whether it's knowing which gifts are exempt from taxation or how to claim reliefs, an accountant can help you make sense of it all.

Error Minimization

Imagine spending hours filling out Forms IHT403 and IHT402, only to find out later that you made an error that could result in penalties. An accountant can carefully review each form to ensure accuracy, reducing the chance of costly mistakes. They will meticulously examine each line item, from valuations to liabilities, and ensure that every entry is correct and supported by adequate documentation.

Strategic Planning and Optimization

One of the most invaluable services that a tax accountant provides is strategic tax planning. They can help you understand the implications of different asset distributions or transfers, aiming to minimize the inheritance tax burden. This can include advice on how to use various allowances, reliefs, or exemptions that you may not be aware of.

Time and Stress Management

Filling out forms IHT403 and IHT402 is not a task that can be done in a hurry. It requires careful consideration and a deep understanding of tax laws, valuations, and financial planning. This is time-consuming and can be incredibly stressful, especially if you're also dealing with grief. An accountant takes this burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other pressing matters.

Detailed Record-Keeping

HMRC may request additional information or clarification, so it's crucial to keep thorough records. A tax accountant will not only help you fill out the forms but also maintain meticulous records of all transactions, gifts, and asset valuations. This makes it easier to respond to any inquiries from HMRC and could be invaluable if you face an audit.

Liaising with HMRC

Interacting with HMRC can be intimidating. If there are any issues or questions from HMRC regarding the submitted forms, your accountant can liaise directly with them on your behalf. They can decode the tax jargon and address queries, making the entire process less daunting for you.

Filing and Submission

Tax accountants are familiar with the filing procedures and deadlines for Forms IHT403 and IHT402. They can prepare the forms well in advance of the deadline, ensuring that they are submitted in a timely manner. Most accountants also offer electronic filing services, which can expedite the process and provide immediate confirmation of submission.

Expert Advice for Future Planning

Once the immediate task of filling out and submitting the forms is complete, an accountant can also offer advice for future financial planning. Whether it's setting up a trust or restructuring assets, their expert advice can help you make informed decisions that could benefit you and your heirs in the long run.

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to try to manage inheritance tax forms on your own, the expertise and peace of mind that a personal tax accountant offers are invaluable. From ensuring accuracy and compliance to providing strategic advice, their role is multifaceted and extends far beyond mere form-filling.

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