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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

How many variations can be attempted?: rectification of errors

The general rule is that Court approval is needed before the rectification of a deed can have retrospective effect.  However, the parties - influenced no doubt by a wish to avoid delay and expense - frequently argue that the deed can be rectified, retrospectively, without making a formal application to Court.

Although the general rule is not inviolable (for example, it may be possible to correct a minor typing error without formal Court approval), it is important that HMRC practice in this area is consistent.

Accordingly, all cases in which the parties contend that a mistake in a deed is susceptible of correction without the approval of the Court should be referred to Technical for information and advice.