When you lose a loved one it can be a very difficult time. Yet despite your grief, there are complex and sometimes urgent financial matters which need to be attended to. Understandably, you may not know where to start.

The Tax Angel can help you deal all tax related matters following a loss. From agreeing the income tax position of the deceased up to the date of their death, calculating and agreeing the inheritance liability of the estate and finalising the income tax position for the period of administration.

I can assure you of complete peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s tax affairs, both before after their death are in safe hands.

You may have been appointed an executor of the someone’s estate, but what does this mean and what do you need to do?

  • The executor is the person named in a Will who is appointed to deal with a deceased’s estate. There may be more than one executor, but generally there are no more than four.
  • The term estate is used to describe all the money, property, possessions, and valuables owned by the deceased at the date of their death, less any debts they owed.
  • If there is a will the executor will apply for probate. If there isn’t a will, then someone can apply to be an administrator.
  • A Grant of Probate is issued by the probate court and provides the executor with the legal authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.
  • An executor can then administer the estate and so enables the executor to access bank accounts, sell assets and pay any debts and distribute the assets of the estate according to the will.
  • A Grant of Probate can only be applied for when any inheritance tax has been settled. IHT is due to be paid by the end of the sixth month after the person has died.
  • Settling the IHT before applying for the grant can sometimes prove difficult if there are insufficient liquid assets and monies are tied up in property or in a bank account. Executors can, however, can ask HMRC to apply to one or more of the deceased’s bank accounts directly to arrange payment, so that the grant can be issued.
  • It is also possible to pay IHT in yearly instalments on certain assets that may take time to sell, such as a house.

Self Assessment Tax Return

When someone dies, it is not only the estate’s tax position which has to be considered, but also that of the deceased up to the date of their death.

It is therefore necessary to review the deceased’s tax position from the start of the tax year to the date they died to determine if there is tax to pay and whether there is a requirement to complete a self assessment tax return.

Help with

  • Completing the deceased’s tax return to the date of death
  • Filing the tax return online
  • Dealing directly with HMRC on your behalf

Income Tax

When someone dies, there may be a refund of tax due to the estate, this is because there are unused personal allowances as the tax code will not have operated for a full tax year. Any tax repaid in these circumstances is treated as an asset of the estate and must be included in the inheritance tax return.

If however, the deceased was in receipt of untaxed income, such as from a rental property or investments, for example bank and building society interest or stocks and shares, there may be additional tax to pay.

Help with

  • Calculating the final tax liability
  • Agreeing the deceased’s tax position with HMRC
  • Securing any tax refunds due to the estate
  • Identifying any other tax related issues
  • Reviewing the tax implications of any chargeable event gains on matured life policies

Property Tax

When someone dies who has been renting out a property, it is necessary to complete rental accounts up to the date of their death, so that any profit can be declared on their final tax return.

Any rental income received after the date of death will fall into the period of administration and will be assessed on the executors.

If a property is valued for probate purposes, but is then later sold by the estate at a profit, there may be capital gains tax to pay. This is also assessed on the executors, or in some instances the beneficiaries, or both, depending on how the assets of the estate have been allocated.

A disposal of a UK residential property requires a 60-day online capital gains tax return to be completed and filed online and any tax paid within 60 days of the date of completion of the property sale. The 60-day CGT reporting requirement applies equally to individuals, trustees, and executors.

Help with

  • Annual rental accounts
  • Let Property Campaign settlement with HMRC for any undisclosed rental income
  • Tax obligations of renting out a property
  • 60-day CGT reporting for UK residential property
  • Capital Gains Tax planning and mitigation

Capital Gains Tax

When someone dies there is a capital gains tax-free uplift in the value of all the assets in their estate at the date of death. The assets are therefore rebased for CGT purposes and so are deemed to be acquired by the executors at their probate value without any gain arising. This tax-free uplift applies even though assets may have risen considerably in value during the deceased’s lifetime.

As a result of the tax-free uplift, the executors do not have an immediate CGT liability on the property or assets comprised in the estate. However, if during the estate administration period, a property, or an asset is sold for more than the value at the date of death, a CGT liability may arise.

Help with

  • Calculating capital gains tax during the period of administration
  • Identifying and claiming capital gains tax reliefs
  • Maximising capital losses
  • Identifying any exempt assets
  • Completion of estate tax return to disclose chargeable disposals
  • 60-day online CGT return in respect of residential property sales

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is charged at 40% and is broadly applied on assets in an estate worth over £325,000, with some exceptions. It may however be less if you leave a home or proceeds from the sale of a home to direct descendants.

The 40% rate can in some circumstances be reduced by 10% to 36% if you leave qualifying gifts to charity in your will.

Inheritance tax is payable by the end of the sixth month following a person’s death.

Help with

  • Registering the estate with HMRC, where required
  • Completion and submission of IHT return and schedules
  • Maximising the Nil Rate Band (NRB) and transferable NRB
  • Maximising the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) and transferable RNRB
  • Claiming IHT exemptions in lifetime and on death
  • Calculating IHT due on lifetime gifts and on the death estate
  • Identifying and applying for the reduced rate of IHT


A Will Trust is as the name suggests is a trust created by a Will and comes into effect on the death of the testator. The trust appoints named trustees control over the deceased’s assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. The deceased may have directed what the trust provides each beneficiary, or this may be left to the discretion of the trustees. The trustees are often the executors, but not necessarily.

Help with

  • Registering a will trust with HMRC
  • Maintaining and updating the HMRC Trust Register
  • Outlining the tax implications of a will trust
  • Completion of the annual trust tax return
  • Preparing certificates of income and tax paid for the beneficiaries
  • Completion of repayment claims for the beneficiaries

Tax Planning

It is not too late to think about tax planning when someone has died. Sometimes a will isn’t written in the most tax advantageous way and there can be unintended tax consequences depending on how a deceased’s assets are left.

In these circumstances, it may be possible to vary the will by way of a Deed of Variation. If a Deed of Variation is drafted in the right way and signed within strict time limits, HMRC will regard any gift being redirected as coming from the person who died, rather than from the person making the gift. This can be a very useful tax planning tool and allows some flexibility following someone’s death to mitigate or even extinguish any unintended tax liabilities.

Another useful tax planning tool, is to allocate assets to beneficiaries before they are sold in order to make use of the beneficiaries’ annual capital gains tax exemptions. This also enables beneficiaries to utilise any personal capital losses they may have or benefit from a lower rate of tax, compared to that chargeable on the beneficiaries.

Help with

  • Reviewing the tax efficiencies of the will
  • Projecting the anticipated tax liabilities of the estate
  • Minimising the tax due by the executors and beneficiaries
  • Capital Gains Tax planning
  • Advising on and applying for the reduced rate of IHT

Tax Enquiries

Executors should take the same care dealing with an estate as dealing with their own income tax affairs. They need to fully understand their responsibilities and only sign and submit the IHT return when they are confident that it is complete and correct as far as they are able and that the fullest enquiries have been made to identify and value all assets owned by the deceased at the date of their death.

If you are unfortunate enough to be investigated by HMRC, The Tax Angel can help. I will undertake a full review of the return you have submitted, and the questions being raised by HMRC. My aim is to resolve matters and conclude any HMRC enquiry as quickly and as satisfactorily as possible. This will then enable you to apply to HMRC for clearance that the value of the estate has been ascertained and all IHT due has been paid.

Help with

  • Explaining the matters being investigated so that any issues can be dealt with
  • Reviewing any submissions made to HMRC and identifying any problems
  • Dealing with matters with HMRC to agree the tax position
  • Advising and calculating any interest and penalty charges
  • Handling negotiations with HMRC
  • Agreeing the tax liability with HMRC and concluding the enquiry
  • Applying for a closure notice from HMRC confirming that the tax position has been settled

Who I help