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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Pre-enforcement: consider the defaulter: deceased customers: Estates and Trusts Office

Estates and Trusts Office deal with all deceased pre-enforcement casework where there is no up-standing partner.

Initial action

In an indirect tax case, ‘pseudo’ the case onto IDMS.

In all cases if the information you receive is insufficient, no earlier than two months after the date of death, make further enquiries starting either:

* with the person who notified you of the death
* at the deceased’s last known address.

In all cases where you are satisfied you have sufficient factual information advise Customer Ops or for indirect taxes, the DTO/Environmental Excise & Customs (EEC) team at Liverpool as appropriate of the death and any details of the personal representatives.

They will issue leaflet DP49. This is available from for England and Wales, and in Scotland.

Date of death three or more years ago

Where the date of death was three or more years ago, further action may not be appropriate. In some instances, however, particularly in large estates or where there are foreign assets or lifetime ownership of assets, probate may not be granted for some time.

Potential debt is £5,000 or less

If the potential debt is £5,000 or less:

  • do not pursue any outstanding return
  • complete a pro forma return as nil or equal to the total payments on record
  • make the record dormant/cease the employer record
  • put your reason for closure on SA notes(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

Potential debt is more than £5,000

If the potential debt is more than £5,000 look in the Calendar of Grants to find out if probate/confirmation has been obtained.

Probate not granted

If probate was not granted but the deceased’s financial circumstances suggest that there should be an estate, application for a grant of probate may be delayed. If you think further investigation would be worthwhile contact the deceased’s agent or relatives to find out whether an application for probate will be made.

If probate was not granted and there is no evidence that there was an estate:

  • do not pursue any outstanding return
  • complete a pro forma return as nil or equal to the total payments on record
  • make the record dormant/cease the employer record
  • put your reason for closure on SA notes
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

Probate granted

Probate granted more than two years ago

If probate was granted more than two years ago and there is no evidence that the estate was substantial:

  • do not pursue any outstanding return
  • complete a pro-forma return as nil or in the amount of the payment on record
  • make the record dormant/cease the employer record
  • put your reason for closure on SA notes(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

Probate within the last two years or estate substantial

If probate was granted within the last two years or there is evidence that the estate was substantial:

  • write to the personal representative asking for payment
  • pursue as normal (see DMBM585285).