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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Investigating incorrect accounts, information or documents: risk assessing the potential penalty

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Before you raise enquiries into an incorrect account, information or document you should first consider whether the potential penalty is going to be worthwhile. There are de minimis limits (IHTM09083) for the uplifts in the chargeable estate or value of the assets below which we should not consider a penalty. But even where these limits are exceeded you also need to consider the possible impact of abatement (IHTM36177) and in particular the additional abatement for disclosure (IHTM36183) on the penalty you might be seeking. If on the evidence available to you at the time it seems unlikely that the eventual penalty will be worthwhile then you should note this on your file and not take the matter further. And even if you decide to make further enquiries you should repeat this exercise as and when further information is made available to you and, if necessary, be prepared to drop your enquiries if it becomes clear that any penalty is not going to be worthwhile.

When carrying out risk assessment you should also make sure that there have been no changes to the estate through for example, instruments of variation or additional reliefs being claimed elsewhere in the estate, which reduces the culpable tax below the amount on which you should be seeking a penalty.