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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Communications: Customer service standards: definitions of ‘post’ and ‘dealt with’

What is post?

Only the following items from external and internal customers are regarded as ‘Post’:

  • a letter (or faxed letter) from the taxpayer or agents. This includes simple acknowledgements and reminders and letters received after the IHT400 has been delivered.
  • a report, letter/memo or form from the District Valuer (DV) (IHTM23002), but not DV acknowledgements
  • Val 50 or memo from Shares and Assets Valuation (SAV)) advising an agreed valuation
  • Letters or memos from another HMRC office
  • Notices under IHTA84/S218 (IHTM42604).
  • Post where there is no ALF reference and general enquiries.
  • Requests for probate packs
  • Information gathering post received by the Risk team, where no response is expected. This includes both unsolicited and solicited post.

Anything else received is not regarded as ‘Post’, including any type of IHT Account and payments, unless they are accompanied by a letter that needs a substantive response.

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What does ‘dealt with’ mean

Post is treated as ‘dealt with’ if we have responded with one of the following

  • a letter dealing with all outstanding points so far as they can be dealt with at the time, including issuing an assessment
  • a telephone call dealing with all outstanding points so far as they can be dealt with at the time including issuing an assessment
  • an assessment, if this is all that is required. But, you should note that if the assessment is a repayment it is not ‘dealt with’ until the cheque has been issued
  • the issue of an appropriate form, closure letter, or certificate
  • a letter stating that no further action is required
  • the filing of correspondence if no further action is needed, together with sending an acknowledgement if appropriate
  • a communication to the DV, SAV or other HMRC office - provided the correspondent is made aware that the communication has been sent

Post is not dealt with when a simple acknowledgement or holding letter (IHTM02091) has been sent, unless the only outstanding issue involves action to be taken by a third party who is not part of HMRC, for example, the District Valuer. If this is the case any letter sent must also explain the current position to the customer.