The differences between Inheritance Tax forms
29th November 2021
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Form IHT205 is required for those estates which do not have to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT) but will need a Grant of Probate. This form confirms that no IHT is payable but must be submitted to obtain the Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or Letters of Administration (if there is no Will). The form will confirm that the estate is either under the £325,000 Nil Rate Band threshold (or under the £650,000 threshold if the deceased inherited an estate from a pre-deceased spouse or civil partner) or if the estate is an ‘excepted estate’. This means that the gross estate is valued at less than £1 million and left to a surviving spouse/civil partner, charity or organisation that makes it exempt from any IHT payment.


Form IHT217 is used on estates where the pre-deceased spouse left everything to their partner who survived them. There can be no legacies to other family members or friends. This form can be used to claim a transfer of unused Nil Rate Band for excepted estates (estates less than £650,000 which is the combination of two NRBs). This form must be accompanied by the corresponding IHT205.


Form IHT400 is needed for estates that are subject to IHT. Before completing the IHT400, an IHT reference number and pay slip to make a payment is needed. This is obtained by completing form IHT422 or applying for it online. The IHT400 must be completed within a year of the date of death; however, any interest owed is payable after six months. It is worth bearing in mind that some estates require the completion of an IHT400, even if no tax is payable – this is known as NIL400.


Form IHT402 is used with form IHT400 to claim any unused portions of the Nil Rate Band from a pre-deceased spouse or civil partner. Form IHT217 above can only be used where 100% of the estate on the first death passed to the surviving spouse/civil partner. Form IHT402 is used when some of the allowance has been used on the first death, therefore, allowing the remaining allowance to be claimed.

If you require advice regarding the various Inheritance Tax forms, please contact us.

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Peter W

Member since: 2nd August 2019

Hastings & Rother Legal Services Ltd offer a diverse range of legal services including will writing, power of attorney, funeral plans, estate administration and more. To speak with us or if you have any...

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