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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

What to do on receipt of the VOA's final report: contacting the taxpayer following receipt of the VOA’s report

Generally, we need to follow up receipt of the VOA (IHTM23002) report by contacting the taxpayer fairly quickly because

  • we have given a public commitment to this effect in the November 1999 IHT Newsletter. This explained that, as the VOA does not always contact the taxpayer about an offered valuation, we would, in consequence, contact the taxpayer to apprise them of the position.
  • feedback from subsequent external surveys has indicated that there is often a ‘black hole’ in taxpayers knowledge of the state of progress at this stage - the combination of VOA and our practice (of not automatically telling them in every case that we have referred to the VOA in first instance). Although procedural changes have been made to reduce the potential period of non-contact (in PC&S , referrals are made by FACET/Registry staff before the account is formally examined), the sooner that contact is made the better.

The precise timing of contact may vary, depending on the circumstances of the case.

VOA-only Cases

  • Send a letter straightaway. The general approach should be to say that on the basis of the information supplied, there is no question to raise on the value included in the HMRC Account. If there is a future sale of the property this will trigger the end of the relevant instalment (IHTM31418) arrangement. If they consider that the sale has an impact on the valuation offered at the date of death, they should let us know what alternative value they think should be included and the reasons for their view.

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Open enquiry (IHTM29012) Cases

  • Where there is an open enquiry (of which the VOA is one aspect), use common sense to judge the most appropriate time to write on the above lines. If you are likely to have to write to the taxpayer on another matter within the next 2-3 months, include the VOA point at the same time, rather than writing specifically straightaway.