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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Governance: independent validation checks

As part of our governance procedures we are required to make quality assurance checks on a sample of closed enquiry and account amendment cases, which have been registered on ERS or on ERSA or yield has been recorded using Unit 3 (or Unit 4. The product and process team will randomly select these cases in two tranches

  • The 1st tranche in October (from closures made in the past six months)
  • The 2nd tranche in April (from closures made up to the end of the financial year)

They will select 3% of closed enquiry cases from Compliance and Litigation. A list of the selected cases will be sent to the managers to distribute to the reviewers. A case will not be reviewed by anyone who has been involved in working it before the review.


Reviewers should record their comments as a narrative, on a standard template IVR1. This will be issued to managers by the Trusts and Estates Compliance Strategy and Delivery Team (CSDT). The managers will then distribute these to the reviewers. The reviewers should highlight any important areas using the review criteria. They should comment on areas where we have done well as well as those where we could have done better. They are not required to ‘score’ the casework.

When reviewing the case the reviewer should consider the following criteria

  • Has the yield been recorded accurately?
  • How good was the technical input and/or compliance work?
  • Did we get and act on any information that was of value to any other compliance activity?
  • Are there any learning points?
  • What was the quality of the research and initial risk assessment?
  • Where all the risks identified and considered?
  • Was any culpability and penalty action taken appropriately?
  • Did we follow the Litigation and Settlement Strategy?
  • Was there any impact on other areas outside of IHT and did we follow this up?

Having asked themselves all these questions, the reviewer should complete the template and e-mail it to the CSDT. CSDT will review the completed templates and refer any that require management action to the caseworker’s manager. The form will give details of who it should be sent to. The manager will decide whether or not to share the information with the individual caseworker.

The reviewer must carry out the review and report back within the deadline set. CSDT will provide an overall summary of the outcome of the reviews to operational managers

Conducting these reviews will make sure that we can identify learning points for individuals and IHT processes, and recognise work that is being done well.