Inheritance Tax Returns Short Form IHT205 v Long Form IHT400

Published / Last Updated on 08/10/2021

There are two types of forms available when a person dies and you need to file inheritance tax returns with HMRC:

  • Short Form:  IHT 205 (8 pages)
  • Long Form:  IHT 400 (16 pages) + up to 20 different IHT schedules (forms) for different parts of the estate such as joint property, property in sole name, agricultural land, business, ISAs and shares, life insurance, pensions and overseas assets etc.

IHT 205

Use this form only when the person died on or after 6 April 2011 and the person who has died (‘the deceased’) was domiciled (had their permanent home) in the UK at the date of death and the gross value of the estate for Inheritance Tax is less than or equal to:

  • the excepted estate limit i.e. ‘Nil Rate Band’ currently £325,000 (where no inheritance tax is payable).
  • twice the excepted estate limit and form IHT217 ‘Claim to transfer unused nil rate band for excepted estates’ is attached.
  • £1million and there is no Inheritance Tax to pay because of spouse, civil partner or charity exemption.

IHT 400

Use this form (and various schedules) if the gross value of the estate exceeds

  • £1 million or
  • the nil rate band but is below £1 million and no charity or spouse or civil partner exemptions or transfer of unused nil rate band apply.

In all cases, keep a copy of forms and full records of the deceased’s estate accounts as HMRC cannot provide you with a copy at a later date.

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