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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Communications: Personal applicants: summary

Personal Applicants (PAs) are usually closely related to the deceased and therefore

  • sensitive to the wording you use
  • sensitive to questioning
  • Inheritance Tax may not be top of their priorities

As a result you may need to repeat your messages

PAs generally have less understanding of Inheritance Tax than agents - although some may be professionals or have read all the booklets

PAs are unlikely to know our procedures or timescales involved

Your letters should

  • be personal, not so formal
  • explain everything you are doing
  • explain how long it should take - if you don’t know, say so

When making phone calls

  • prepare
  • sum up agreed action
  • put it in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

If what they are saying is not clear (either on the phone or in a letter) - summarise back to them your understanding of it.

Keeping PAs informed is the best way to avoid complaints