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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Land and Buildings: who values interests in land?

Where land is situated in the United Kingdom we rely on professional advice from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), or the Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA) in Northern Ireland, in arriving at a valuation. The VOA is an executive agency of HMRC under the control of a Chief Executive. The VLA is part of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and is an Executive Agency within the Department of Finance and Personnel. References in other pages of this manual to the VOA apply equally to the VLA unless specifically stated otherwise.

The VOA is organised to deal with IHT work as follows

  • there is a dedicated Business Stream within the VOA - known as District Valuer Services - providing valuation services to IHT
  • District Valuer Services is structured into 9 geographical units, covering the whole of the mainland. Each of the 8 units in England and Wales is managed by a District Valuer (DV) and the unit in Scotland is managed by the Chief Valuer Scotland (all pay band B1). Each unit has an administrative centre which processes initial valuation requests.
  • the actual valuations are carried out in local Valuation Offices within the geographical units.

A map (IHTM23003) of the 9 geographical units, plus details of how local Offices fit in to this structure, can be found elsewhere in this section.

Although most land in the UK which is chargeable to tax on the death is referred to the VOA there are some exceptions (IHTM23018) where no referral is necessary.

The valuation of land situated outside the UK is undertaken by SAV.