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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Investigating accounts: reviewing replies

When you receive replies to your queries look at them critically. You should not jump to conclusions before you have all the facts. Ask further questions or get advice if the information is still unclear. Consider whether the omissions in the information suggest that there is little evidence to support the taxpayer’s contentions or whether you might get more specific and worthwhile information if you probe further. If there are bank accounts you should analyse (IHTM09061) these closely.

You should consider each time the file crosses your desk whether

  • the additional information is consistent with the rest of the information available to you
  • the enquiry or a particular line of enquiry should be dropped, bearing in mind the likelihood of obtaining an adjustment and the amount of tax at stake and the possibility of taking up a fresh enquiry where more is at stake
  • you need to use information from other sources or third parties (IHTM09331) to clarify, confirm or challenge the information provided by the taxpayers
  • RRLT (IHTM09261) might be able to provide more help now that you have further information
  • there may be a better way of taking the enquiry forward
  • the additional information may have an impact for other taxes.

Remember to make good use of the telephone, meetings (IHTM09062) and information notices (IHTM32191) and to update your enquiry plan (IHTM29051). If the taxpayer has difficulty in complying with your requests you should discuss the problem with the taxpayer and see how the problem might be overcome.