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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Assessing: COMPASS: introduction

COMPASS is our Computerised Assessing program. It was introduced in 1995 and most death estates are dealt with under this system.

COMPASS is a large computer database, holding various details about each estate including its net assets and the calculations issued and paid.

COMPASS can produce records and calculations for most death and settlement cases, but in some cases this is not possible (IHTM31014), so you will have to use the manual template (IHTM31301) to calculate the tax and interest.

Most records are set up on COMPASS by Service. Service will enter full information about the Free Estate and will also set up and capture any information they have about other chargeable components of the estate. They will raise and issue the initial calculation(s) for the Free Estate. But, the caseworker is responsible for making sure that details about the estate are correct and for making any amendments. It is particularly important in Sample cases (IHTM31002) that the full details of the estate are accurately entered on COMPASS and details of all lifetime gifts are recorded, even if the gifts do not bear any tax themselves.

If necessary, caseworkers can set-up a death case (IHTM31102) or a settlement case record (IHTM31241) through the ‘data entry’ program.

You can update case records on COMPASS through the ‘case work’ program. Navigate the screens in case work through the various windows, tables, drop-down bars and buttons.