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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Enquiries: selecting a case for enquiry

There are many thousands of accounts submitted to us every year. The majority of these do not require close investigation, because they pose no significant risk of loss of tax. All accounts received are risk assessed.

Initial risk assessment

Those which pose the highest risk of loss of tax are selected for an enquiry (IHTM29012) by the risk assessors and referred to Compliance

The risk assessors will summarise the areas of risk they have identified. Where the risk of tax loss is lower, the will refer the case to PC&S with instructions on what to do next.

Investigator risk assessment

The case will be risk-assessed again when it is first received in Compliance to identify which aspects warrant enquiry. The investigator will then decide whether each aspect can be accepted on the basis of information available within the department.

The enquiry should concentrate on the aspects you have identified as posing a significant risk of loss of tax, and where it is likely that we can collect the additional tax. There may be other issues where there is not much tax at stake, or we may not be able to collect the tax easily but there is an important point of principle at stake. If this is the case you should agree a course of action with your line manager before you include these points in any enquiry.

As the enquiry progresses the investigator will continue to risk assess each aspect of it, and decide on the value of continuing.