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Farming & Rural Business Community

IHT400 forms

Author: Roseanne Bennett, Partner, Greaves West & Ayre

Published: 13 Apr 2023

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In November 2020, it became mandatory for professionals to submit probate applications online, unless certain conditions apply, to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). This led to some changes by HMRC to the processing of the IHT400s.

Previously, the IHT400, including the IHT421, would be sent to HMRC. This would be stamped by HMRC on receipt of the forms and once any IHT liabilities had been paid. The IHT421 would then be returned to the executors or the executors’ agent for submission in paper form to the HMCTS along with an Oath signed by the executors/administrators and the original Will and any codicils. This would then be processed by the HMCTS and the Grant of Probate issued. On submission of the IHT400 to HMRC, there would be no indication of the timeframe in which the form would be processed. Once satisfied that all IHT due to HMRC had been paid, clearance would be requested from HMRC to confirm the case was closed.

Now that probate applications are made online, there have been some changes to the process.  The IHT400 and IHT421 continue to be submitted to HMRC. Once these forms have been submitted to HMRC, HMRC will issue a letter confirming receipt of the forms and a deadline within which they will complete their detailed checks. This deadline is usually 12 weeks from the date the forms were submitted. The probate application can be submitted to HMCTS after 20 working days of the submission to HMRC. This is to allow HMRC time to complete the IHT421 and send directly to HMCTS.

If you do not hear from HMRC by the stipulated deadline, it is safe to assume they do not have any queries about the information included within the IHT400. At this time, it is best practice to apply to HMRC, using form IHT30, to issue a Clearance Certificate.

*The views expressed are the author’s and not ICAEW’s.