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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Determination of questions on previous view of the law: disputed cases

Except where we expressly concede the right to reopen an assessment on a point of law, IHTA84/S255 applies where persons liable for tax challenge our view of the relevant law but eventually pay tax calculated on the basis of our view without seeking a decision from the Court.

You should not concede the right to reopen an assessment on a point of law unless:

  • the office has been instructed that the view of the law underlying the official practice is open to doubt, and
  • you have the prior approval of your manager.

Where you are issuing an assessment in any case in which we wish to reserve our position with regard to any matter currently under consideration, you must make the reservation in writing, preferably in the form of a covering letter accompanying the assessment.

Where our view of a point of law or practice is disputed at a time when the same point has already been referred to a higher level within HMRC, you need a direction from Litigation Team before you can tell the taxpayers of the earlier case and invite them to await its outcome.