HMRC investigated almost one in four inheritance tax (IHT) returns in 2017/18, according to research published in September by UHY Hacker Young.

HMRC can impose penalties of up to 100% of the tax due on UK estates that underpay. These penalties apply even though it is often a family member who acts as executor after a relative has died. This is a stressful time, but executors have a legal duty to ensure all information is correct when applying for probate or filing an IHT return.

Particular care should be taken to ensure property values reflect current market conditions, and that assets are not omitted from the return.

Not all estates will be liable for IHT. The rules can be complex, so seek advice if necessary.

Levels and bases of taxation and tax reliefs are subject to change and their value depends on individual circumstances. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice. Tax laws can change.

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