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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Raising enquiries into incorrect accounts, information and documents: initial questions

A penalty may arise whenever an incorrect account, information or document is delivered. So it is important to establish at the outset the precise sequence of events surrounding the completion and delivery of the account before you can decide whether it is appropriate to seek a penalty, and under which penalty provision (IHTM36102). You will also need this information in calculating the penalty (IHTM36174) that is due.

You will need to find out

  • what enquiries the taxpayers made and of whom, when the account was completed
  • what the taxpayers did before signing the account to satisfy themselves that the information in the account was correct.
  • (in the case of a voluntary disclosure) when and how the error in the original account came to light, and what was done to correct it.

In general you should not normally take into account, in considering a penalty information that becomes available to the taxpayer after the account was signed but before it was delivered to this office. This however assumes that the account is submitted soon after signing. But if delivery of the account was delayed after signing and an agent is acting, you may have to establish whether or not the taxpayer was aware the account had not yet been sent to us. If so there may be a case for considering what further information became available to the taxpayer before delivery.

You must issue leaflet IHT 13 (IHTM36156) when you raise your initial enquiries with the taxpayers.