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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Death and Personal Representatives: Variation of the devolution of an estate: Instruments of variation: documents

HMRC’s policy with regard to unsolicited documents is set out in TSEM1710.  If therefore an unsolicited instrument of variation is received, and there is no immediate cause to look at it, it should be dealt with in strict accordance with TSEM1715.  This does not however apply if the covering letter refers to Inheritance Tax and asks that it be passed on to HMRC - Trusts and Estates-IHT.  In such a case you should act as requested, but write to the sender indicating that you have not considered the instrument for CGT purposes.

Exceptionally in an enquiry case you may consider it appropriate to call for an instrument of variation to check

  • that it has been validly made, and
  • that the conditions set out in CG31650 have been complied with
  • in the case of an HMRC Trusts and Estates case, to consider the identity of the settlor.

In some cases HMRC - Trusts and Estates - IHT may have checked the first two points for their purposes. So the first step is to find out whether they have considered the deed, and what their conclusions were.  If so then your treatment of the deed should be the same as theirs, unless you consider that not all relevant facts were available to them.

See generally CG31680.