An extra 2000 smaller estates will qualify for the simplified reporting rules for inheritance tax (IHT) following an increase in the limit from 200,000 ppounds to 210,000 pounds.

The simplified reporting rules enable executors or administrators to obtain Probate probate without completing a full IHT return.

Executors or administrators normally have to deliver a full account to the Inland Revenue before they can get a grant of representation. Smaller estates (known as “excepted estates”) follow a much simpler procedure. This applies where the gross value of the estate value (that is, the total value of the estate inclusive of the value of any gifts mentioned below and before deduction of any debts) falls below the qualifying limit and is otherwise straightforward – broadly:
the deceased was domiciled in the United Kingdom;
none of the assets of the estate passes under the terms of a trust or involves a “gift with reservation”;
the value of the estate outside the United Kingdom totals not more than 50,000 pounds;and
any taxable lifetime gifts within seven years of death were only cash, quoted shares or quoted securities, totalling in value not more than 75,000pounds.

These simpler rules two measures will apply to estates of people who die on or after 6 April 2000.


Following new regulations laid before the House of Commons today, the simplified reporting rules will now apply to qualifying smaller estates, where the gross value does not exceed #210,000. These The new regulations are:
The Inheritance Tax (Delivery of Accounts) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 967);
The Inheritance Tax (Delivery of Accounts) (Scotland) Regulations 1998 2000 (SI 2000 No. 966);
The Inheritance Tax (Delivery of Accounts) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 965).
Copies of the regulations (which all come into force on 1 May 2000) will be available shortly from the Stationery Office and on the Inland Revenue’s home page at the address below.

2. The “excepted estates” procedure does not affect the rules in Scotland which require an inventory with applications for confirmation to an estate. This inventory must therefore continue to be completed and presented to the Sheriff Clerk in the normal way.


1. Inheritance tax (IHT) was introduced in 1986 to replace capital transfer tax. The estimated number of taxpaying death estates in 2000-2001 will be about 23,500, as compared with around 21,000 in 1999-2000. This is around 4 in 100 of all deaths. The contribution to public finances from IHT in 2000-2001 will be about 2.25 billion pounds.

2. The “excepted estates” limit was last increased from 180,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds with effect from 1 July 1998.

3. If an individual makes a gift but retains an interest in it, the gift is called a gift with reservation.

4. A free leaflet, IHT 12, containing a more detailed explanation of the rules on “excepted estates” is available from the Capital Taxes Offices. The stationery Orderline number is 0845 2341000. The Capital Taxes Offices’ Helpline numbers are: England and Wales, 0115 974 2400; Scotland, 0131 524 3028; Northern Ireland, 028 9050 5353.

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