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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Investigating accounts: analysing bank statements

If you receive bank statements you should analyse them carefully. These will add significantly to your understanding of the deceased’s affairs. Note the incoming and outgoings separately in manual or computer spreadsheet form.

Are there any receipts that suggest the existence of undisclosed assets, for example

  • rent receipts from a property
  • dividends or other income from assets not included in the account
  • transfers in from other accounts you do not know about (possibly from abroad)
  • significant foreign currency transactions?

On the outgoings side you need to watch out for

  • standing order payments to life assurance companies
  • transfers to other accounts of unexplained large amounts.

If you cannot reconcile an outgoing from one account with an incoming to another account then you will need to seek an explanation.