Following changes to the excepted estates rules from 1 January 2022, certain Inheritance Tax (IHT) forms can no longer be used for deaths after 31 December 2021 where the estate is non-taxpaying. A different process must be followed.

The new rules apply to estates where:

  • The aggregate of chargeable transfers and exempt ‘Normal expenditure out of income’ transfers made prior to death is below £250,000.
  • The gross value of the estate is below £3 million with the total amount of trust property including exempt amounts being limited to £1 million.
  • The deceased was Non-UK domiciled, no chargeable gifts over £3,000 in any year were made in the seven years before the death and the estate did not contain an overseas property with value attributable to UK residential property.

The following forms should not be used for deaths after 31 December 2021:

  • IHT205 (return of estate information).
  • IHT217 (claim to transfer unused nil-rate band for excepted estates).
  • C5 (SE) (2006) (information about small estates if the deceased was a permanent resident of Scotland).
  • C5 (2006) (return of estate information if the deceased was a permanent resident of Scotland).

Instead of completing the forms, the personal representatives must include the following on the probate or confirmation application:

This change is in addition to the increase in probate fees which takes effect from 26 January 2022. Fees are currently £155 for professionals and £215 for non-professionals and will increase to £273 across the board for applications submitted on or after that date. Estates below £5,000 remain exempt from charge.

Useful guides on this topic

IHT: Estate planning checklist
This checklist covers some of the essential planning points that taxpayers should know when planning for their estate and Inheritance Tax (IHT).

Client Briefing: Making gifts & IHT
Making gifts and Inheritance Tax (IHT). This note explains the key rules on making tax-effective gifts for IHT purposes.

IHT: Transferable Nil-Rate Band
What is the Transferable Nil-Rate Band? Who does it apply to? How do I claim it?


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