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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Investigating accounts: general approach

Taxpayers have a statutory duty to

  • provide full and accurate information in the accounts
  • to correct any errors promptly, and
  • to report final figures for any earlier estimates.

Because of this most of the accounts we receive are correct and the only work we might need to do is to check the value of any land and buildings with the VOA (IHTM23002) and collect any additional tax that may be due.

The risk assessment process will help to identify many of the cases that do not need substantial investigation and will allocate cases to the most appropriate section. If you work in PC&S then the risk assessors will generally tell you what enquiries you need to make but you will still need to review the case and carry out various checks. But if you are in Compliance Group and the case is selected for further investigation you should not simply check the accuracy of the information provided in the account. You should also check other information sources to try to build up a picture of the transferor and their financial affairs as a whole to identify any potential

  • errors
  • omissions
  • under-valuations,
  • tax avoidance (IHTM09151) and tax evasion.

You should concentrate your enquiries on cases, or aspects of cases where the potential tax at stake justifies the expenditure of your time. When carrying out investigations you should follow the best practice (IHTM09023) guidelines.