What is Form IHT400?

What is Form IHT400? A Comprehensive Guide for Scottish Residents What is Form IHT400?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) form IHT400 is a critical document for handling Inheritance Tax throughout the United Kingdom, including Scotland.

The IHT400 must be completed and submitted when the estate of a deceased person is valued above the Inheritance Tax threshold.

Navigating the complexities of Form IHT400 can be challenging, but understanding its purpose, requirements, and the steps involved can make the process more manageable.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of HMRC Form IHT400, specifically tailored for Scottish residents – including when and how to complete it, key considerations, and tips for ensuring accuracy.

What is Form IHT400?

Form IHT400, also known as the “Inheritance Tax Account,” is used to report the value of a deceased person’s estate to HMRC. The form assesses whether Inheritance Tax is due and calculates the amount owed. This form must be submitted if the estate’s value exceeds the current inheritance tax threshold, which, as of 2024, is £325,000.

Estates valued below this threshold typically do not require form IHT400 unless specific conditions apply, such as the use of certain reliefs or exemptions.

When is Form IHT400 Required?

Form IHT400 is required in several situations, including:

  • Estate Value Exceeds the Threshold: If the total value of the estate is above the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000.
  • Assets Above the Threshold: When the deceased owned assets worth more than the threshold, even if the total estate is less.
  • Trusts and Gifts: If the deceased made gifts or had trusts that affect the estate’s value.
  • Complex Estates: When the estate includes foreign assets, business interests, or agricultural property.

What does it do?

Confirmation serves as a legally-binding document issued by the Sheriff Court, granting authority to the executors to access and manage the deceased person’s money and property. This includes the ability to close bank accounts and facilitate the sale or transfer of investments and property. Typically, Confirmation is obtained from the Sheriff Court located nearest to the deceased person’s place of residence at the time of their death.

Steps to Complete Form IHT400

Gather Necessary Information

Before starting form IHT400, gather all relevant information about the deceased’s assets, liabilities, and any gifts made within seven years of death. This includes:

  • Assets: Property, savings, investments, personal belongings, and business interests.
  • Liabilities: Debts, mortgages, and funeral expenses.
  • Gifts: Any gifts given away in the last seven years, including the value and date of the gift.
  • Reliefs and Exemptions: Details of any reliefs (e.g., agricultural or business relief) and exemptions that apply to the estate.

Complete the Form IHT400

Form IHT400 is extensive, consisting of multiple pages and sections. Key sections include:

  • Section 1: Personal Details: Information about the deceased and the person filling out the form.
  • Section 2: Assets: Detailed list and valuation of all assets, including property, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings.
  • Section 3: Liabilities: List of debts and expenses, such as loans, credit cards, and funeral costs.
  • Section 4: Gifts: Information on gifts made within seven years before death.
  • Section 5: Reliefs and Exemptions: Details of any applicable reliefs or exemptions.
  • Declaration: A declaration that the information provided is accurate and complete

Complete the Form IHT400

After completing the Form IHT400, calculate the total value of the estate and determine the Inheritance Tax due. The current rate of inheritance tax is 40% on the value above the threshold, though certain reliefs and exemptions can reduce this amount – such as a reduction of the tax rate to 36% if 10% or more of the estate is gifted to a registered UK charity/charities.

Submit the Form and Pay the Inheritance Tax

Once the Form is completed and the tax calculated, submit Form IHT400 to HMRC along with any additional documents required, such as the Death Certificate and copy of the Will. Payment of any Inheritance Tax due should be made within six months of the date of death to avoid interest and penalties.

Key Considerations for Scottish Residents

Legal Differences
While Inheritance Tax is a UK-wide tax, Scottish law governs the administration of estates in Scotland. This means there may be differences in terms of legal processes, terminology, and documents required. For example, in Scotland, the term “confirmation” is used instead of “probate.”

Agricultural and Business Reliefs
Scotland has a significant number of agricultural and rural businesses. Scottish residents should pay particular attention to claiming agricultural relief and business relief where applicable, as these can significantly reduce the Inheritance Tax liability.

Charitable Donations
Donations to Scottish charities can also reduce the inheritance tax liability. It’s important to include details of any such donations in the Form IHT400 to ensure the estate benefits from the available reliefs.

Professional Advice
Given the specific legal nuances in Scotland, it is advisable to seek professional guidance from a solicitor or tax advisor who is familiar with Scottish estate law to ensure the form is completed accurately and all applicable reliefs are claimed.


Completing HMRC Form IHT400 is a vital step in managing a deceased person’s estate when Inheritance Tax is due. By understanding the requirements and following the steps outlined in this guide, Scottish residents can navigate the process more effectively. Remember to gather all necessary information, ensure accuracy, and seek professional assistance if needed to ensure compliance and avoid potential pitfalls.

Get the right legal advice now

It is advisable to consult with a solicitor experienced in Scottish succession law to guide you through the process, especially if the estate is complex or if there are any potential issues that may arise during the confirmation process. For free advice at this stage regarding Confirmation (Probate) in Scotland, contact us today on 0141 628 5544, email info@weirlaw.co.uk or Make An Online Enquiry