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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Enquiries: what does not constitute an enquiry?

On most of the accounts we receive the work we do is to make sure all aspects are correct, rather than to challenge them. We aim to ‘put right’ the account when it is considered with other information provided by the parties or with certain information that we hold. We term this customer service element ‘account amendment work’. Account amendment work is usually carried out in PC&S. On its own, this type of work is not an enquiry. It covers

  • Requesting answers to unanswered questions on the account.
  • Asking for schedules or a will not provided with an account.
  • Correcting arithmetical errors, adjusting for the use of the wrong threshold or incorrect aggregation.
  • Adjusting the tax for missed grossing up or interaction.
  • Allowing unclaimed spouse and civil partner (IHTM11032) or charity exemption where it is clear that the exemption is due. Contacting the taxpayer for information to check whether an unclaimed exemption or relief is available, where it appears that relief may be due.
  • Adjusting liabilities (+ or -) for amendments identified by FACET share checks.
  • Accepting that an Instrument of Variation (IHTM35011) (IOV) satisfies IHTA84/S142 and asking questions to clarify the effect of an IOV.
  • Requesting an account or reminding for its delivery within the statutory period,
  • Assessing liabilities and pursuing unpaid tax.

The voluntary delivery of an account outside the statutory period does not constitute an enquiry even though we seek a penalty for late delivery (IHTM36021) (unless we challenge aspects of the account).