HMRC's latest Trusts and Estates newsletter contains some useful information. Here is our enhanced version.

Trusts: Self Assessment payment on account

As part of the government's support package during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the July 2020 Self Assessment payment on account can be deferred until January 2021.

  • The deferral includes trustees paying tax in respect of a trust.
  • However, trustees of trusts which have not been affected by COVID-19 should make their July payment on account by the 31 July 2020 due date.

See COVID 19: Deferring Income Tax payments

Trusts helpline

There have been periods when the Trusts Helpline call response times have increased due to HMRC deploying staff to help the public access the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

  • HMRC have introduced a mailbox so that at busy times you can email them directly instead, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • You should provide a very brief outline of your query along with your contact number; personal details are not required. HMRC will aim to get back to you within one working day.

Operational update

Despite the challenges presented by Coronavirus, Inheritance Tax and Trusts operational areas are receiving post as normal, processing accounts and dealing with post in line with published targets. To enable this to continue they have adapted some of HMRC’s processes as summarised below.

Repayments by ‘Faster payments’

  • From April 2020, HMRC switched to Faster payments to make IHT repayments directly to customers’ bank accounts. For this, HMRC need to know the bank account number and sort code of the account they are paying into.
  • HMRC will accept an agent’s signature on behalf of the personal representatives or trustees, except if you wish to change the account HMRC repays into where, instead, everyone who originally signed form IHT400 or form IHT100 must sign the letter.
  • For those applying without a solicitor or other agent, the letter containing this information must be signed by all the people who originally signed form IHT400 or form IHT100.

Paying by cheque for Inheritance Tax

  • From 6 April 2020 HMRC stopped accepting cheques as a method of payment for Inheritance Tax. Other methods to pay are listed on the HMRC Inheritance Tax payments page.

Inheritance Tax and probate webchat and helplines

Repayment and ‘nil’ calculations

Due to staff working from home, HMRC cannot currently print and issue repayment calculations, or calculations where the balance to pay is ’nil’. HMRC will however still write to you to tell you the amount of tax and interest they have calculated as due or repayable. If you think they have made a mistake in their calculations, call the Inheritance Tax helpline on 0300 123 1072.

Wet signatures on IHT accounts and returns

Until further notice, HMRC will accept accounts and returns without wet signatures from professional agents if:

  • The names and personal details of the personal representatives or trustees are shown on the declaration page.
  • The account has been seen by all the personal representatives or trustees and they all agree to be bound by the declaration

The agent must include one of the following statements:




As the agent acting on their behalf, I confirm that all the people whose names appear on the declaration page of this IHT100 have seen the IHT100 and agreed to be bound by the declaration on page 8 of the IHT100.


As the agent acting on their behalf, I confirm that all the people whose names appear on the declaration page of this IHT205 have seen the IHT205 Return and agreed to be bound by the declaration on page 8 of the IHT205.


As the agent acting on their behalf, I confirm that all the people whose names appear on the declaration page of this IHT400 have seen the IHT400 and agreed to be bound by the declaration on page 14 of the IHT400.


Change of process for form IHT421

  • HMRC have changed the process for dealing with form IHT421 – ‘Probate Summary’ for grants in England and Wales and are now emailing the forms directly to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), rather than returning them to you. They will then write to you or include a note on the calculations to explain what they have done.
  • To make the probate process as quick and smooth as possible HMRC advise customers to send their application for a grant to HMCTS 15 working days after they have sent their form IHT400 to HMRC. The form IHT421 has been amended to reflect this process change.
  • The process for confirmation in Scotland differs. HMRC will continue to send IHT421s back to you for confirmation, to meet the requirements of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

Electronic submission of IHT forms

Following requests from agents for a facility to submit accounts electronically, HMRC are allowing electronic submission of IHT400 and IHT100 accounts by agents through Dropbox on a trial basis where it is not possible or impractical to submit them by post.

  • You do not need special software but must contact HMRC first to use the service by sending an email toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Dropbox cannot be used for any other forms.
  • If you successfully submit your IHT account using Dropbox, HMRC will not ask for the same account on paper at a later date.

Inheritance Tax valuations

HMRC are aware some customers have questions about valuing some types of property for IHT, with the current Coronavirus measures in place.

  • There is guidance on how to value property in the form IHT400 notes which deal with estimated values and advises when you may include a ‘best provisional estimate’ of value.
    • You should list the boxes that contain provisional estimates in box 121 of form IHT400 and provide the correct figure as soon as you know it.

See our valuation guides:

Reasonable excuse

  • HMRC have updated the guidance on reasonable excuse to clarify that where customers have not been able to file their account on time due to Coronavirus, it will be treated as a ‘reasonable excuse’.

See Grounds for Appeal: Reasonable excuse

Tax-exempt national heritage property and Coronavirus

Where properties or assets have been given relief under the Conditional Exemption Tax Incentive Scheme because of their importance to the national heritage there is an obligation to provide public access. This may not currently be possible due to social distancing measures and health concerns.

HMRC have updated their guidance for temporary changes to the scheme due to COVID-19. This states that:

  • They will not consider you to have broken your agreement with them if you own a national heritage property and you close it or delay its opening to later in 2020 even if this means you miss some of the period covered by your agreement, or you do not open at all in 2020. When government advice changes HMRC expect your property to open later in the year to make up for lost days, as far as possible.
  • If a conditionally exempted object is on loan to a museum, gallery or other venue which closes, HMRC will not treat the withdrawal of public access to the object as breaching your agreement and this will apply even if it means the object is not on show at all in 2020.

See Heritage Assets: IHT and CGT relief


UK Trusts
A guide to UK trusts and how they are taxed.

Non-resident trusts
This guide considers the UK tax issues related to non-resident trusts and the pitfalls to watch out for.

IHT: Estate planning checklist
A checklist covering some essential points taxpayers should know when planning for their estate and inheritance tax.

External link

HMRC Trusts and Estates newsletter: June 2020