HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

IHTM03342 - Files: VIP and Royal files

VIP cases

A number of cases are classified as Very Important People (VIPs) and are treated with a higher level of security. They are worked and stored separately and access is restricted on COMPASS.

There are two main categories:

Famous people

If you are dealing with the estate of someone who is in the public eye, for example, a musician, actor or politician, you should refer the case to the Secure Cases Officer, in Compliance.

Estates connected to staff

Estates of relatives of members of staff are given VIP status. There are two reasons for this:

  • to afford a degree of privacy to the individual concerned, and
  • to protect them from any risk of conflict of interests or an accusation of improper behaviour.

This applies to estates where a member of staff is either the personal representative or a beneficiary of the estate. Should you find yourself in either position, and you know that an IHT400 has been or is to be delivered you should let the Secure Cases Officer know so that the estate can be handled as a VIP case from the outset. Arrangements will usually be made for the file to be worked in a different location from the member of staff concerned. This does not apply to excepted estates (unless the estate is selected for sample)

Members of the Royal Family, foreign Royalty and heads of state

Any issues involving members of this or any other country’s Royal Family or foreign heads of state should be referred to the Assistant Director, Litigation.