On 9 April, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) supplied the following update about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on paying inheritance tax (IHT) – and how to get IHT forms signed under current circumstances – to the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to change. Because of this, we are introducing new ways of working. As part of this we will be making the following changes:

Paying us by cheque

We will no longer accept payment by cheque. Payment of Inheritance Tax must now be made by one of the other methods of payment listed at https://www.gov.uk/paying-inheritance-tax. We recommend you pay by Faster Payments (online or telephone banking), CHAPS or Bacs to HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) account.

Making repayments to you

We will no longer make repayments using payable orders/cheques. Instead, we will make payments directly to a customer’s bank account using Faster Payments.

To deal with your repayment, we will need some more information from you.

For each of the bank accounts you want us to use to make the repayment, you will need to tell us the:

  • bank account number
  • sort code
  • name of the account holder

You should send this information in writing to:

Inheritance Tax
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

You should write the words ‘Repayment - further details’ at the top of your letter.

As an agent acting on behalf of the estate, we will accept your signature on behalf of the personal representatives or trustees, unless you wish to change the name of the account you want it paid to. In that case, all the people who originally signed the form IHT400 or form IHT100 must sign the letter.

For customers applying without the help of solicitor or other agent, the letter containing this information must be signed by all the people who originally signed the form IHT400 or form IHT100.

Please note that we will not be able to issue the repayment unless we have all the information we need and the necessary authorisation. Using Faster Payments is safer and quicker than payable orders. Once we have dealt with your repayment, you should receive it the following day.

Signing forms IHT400 and IHT100

We recognise that the need for all Legal Personal Representatives (‘LPRs’) or trustees to physically sign the form IHT400 and IHT100 - ‘Inheritance Tax Account’ makes submitting these forms difficult whilst the current measures for self-isolation and social distancing are in place.

For this reason, we have agreed a new, temporary process.

Until further notice, HMRC will accept printed signatures on IHT400 and IHT100 forms in the following circumstances.

There is a professional agent acting, and both:

  • The names and other personal details of the LPRs or trustees are shown on the declaration page.
  • The account includes a clear and unambiguous statement from the agent to confirm that all the LPRs or trustees have seen the account and have agreed to be bound by the declaration.

The suggested wording for this statement is:

‘As the agent acting on their behalf, I confirm that all the people whose names appear on the declaration page of this Inheritance Tax Account have both:

  • seen the Inheritance Tax Account
  • agreed to be bound by the declaration on (page 14 of the IHT400) or (page 8 of the IHT100).’

GOV.UK will be updated to reflect all of these changes in the coming days.

Further changes

We may need to make more changes to our processes as the situation with COVID-19 develops. If this happens, we will tell you.”