Written evidence submitted by Mr David Hodgson


Three years ago (2017) I dealt with Return of Estate forms for my mother who had passed away, and all was straightforward, taking about 4 weeks.    In May 2020, my father passed away, and this time the form filling has been a nightmare.    Collecting, collating, checking, double and triple checking before submitting the relevant details took 4 months


Before starting, I knew his estate would be valued at less than £1 million and that no inheritance tax would be due, so I started filling in form IHT205, as per HMRC instructions.    However, when I got right to the end of this form, I reached the point where my father's estate exceeded the threshold for “excepted estates” BUT crucially this was BEFORE any allowance for his home/property had been taken into account.


Had this property aspect been INCLUDED on form IHT205, it would have been unnecessary to switch to the much longer and more complicated IHT400, with all it's subsiduary forms, so I have ended up with a total of FIFTEEN (15) forms plus other attachments.


At the end of the day, the Government will NOT be levying any tax, but it will take officials much longer to go through the paperwork  [assuming someone does look at everything – however, a quick look at IHT400, page 12, box 119, containing a big fat 'zero', so someone could just look at this, see there is no tax due, and ignore everything else].    Quite apart from the official's I feel much of my time has been completely wasted, when it could be been more productively used dealing with the myriad of other things which need to be dealt with.


Summing up, the HMRC inheritance tax system falls short in delivering administrative efficiency, and this can be improved by a small addition to form IHT205, to cover forms IHT435 (Claim for Residence Nil Rate Band) and IHT 436 (Claim to transfer unused Residence Nil Rate Band) – please see page 7 of form IHT205.


PS Please note, I recently brought this to the attention of my father's local MP, Lee Rowley, who has provided the link and advised me to submit this to your Committee.


November 2020