Late accounts: when to seek a penalty?
A late account is one that is delivered to us outside the prescribed time limits (IHTM10803), as laid down in IHTA84/SS216 (6)(7) and IHTA84/S217.
The time limit for delivering an account as a result of death (IHTM10811) is
- 12 months from the end of the month in which the death occurs, or
- if later, 3 months from the date when the personal representatives first acted in that capacity.
It is important to check when the personal representatives first acted and not to assume that every account submitted beyond 12 months from the end of the month in which the death occurs is a late account.
If an account is delivered late (IHTM36022) you should seek an appropriate penalty (IHTM36023), provided the account relates to a death or other chargeable event occurring on or after 1 July 1998, FA99/S108 (3). But taxpayers are not liable to a penalty if they can show that there was reasonable excuse (IHTM36061) for the delay or that the account was delivered without unreasonable delay once the excuse has ceased.
There are separate penalties for a failure to deliver an account (IHTM36081).