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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Co-operation: lack of co-operation by an agent

Any delay or lack of co-operation by an agent is deemed to be the responsibility of the taxpayer. It is, however, not uncommon for the client to be under the impression that the agent is attending to HMRC enquiries when the agent is doing nothing, or very little.

If you have reason to believe that a case is lagging because of

  • the tardiness of the agent, or
  • the agent complains about the delay or difficulty in getting information from the taxpayer

you should write direct to the taxpayer (with a copy to the agent) reminding the taxpayer of the terms of leaflet IHT 13 and ask for quicker and more effective co-operation. If a complaint (IHTM02241) is made, the answer should be that the Department is bound to remind the taxpayer of the effect that delay may have upon the amount of any interest (if applicable) and penalty which may ultimately be sought. This is in fairness to the taxpayer concerned and to taxpayers in general.