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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Improving future compliance: general approach

When you complete your investigation you should consider what advice you might helpfully give to the agents who have been acting, in order to improve the compliance of those they advise in the future. This applies both to cases where you take a penalty and those where you may decide not to take a penalty but where there were clear shortcomings in the way in the way the case was handled. You should try to think about what they or their client might have done in the case in question, which you would have regarded as reasonable and see if there is a general point to be made which would be useful for someone to bear in mind in future.

Some common areas where a taxpayer’s actions may fall short of what we might reasonably expect and where you may usefully offer advice include

  • failing to include joint property (IHTM36272) in estate
  • not completing enquiries (IHTM36273) before delivering an account
  • the personal representative employs an agent (IHTM36274) but does not take responsibility for checking the information in an account and ensuring that any assets found after the account has been delivered is reported to IHT
  • not providing realistic and open market valuations of land (IHTM36275)
  • providing provisional estimates of value (IHTM36276) without first making enquiries
  • when assets are included at under value or left out because of funding or re- financing problems (IHTM36277).

The sort of advice you may give in each of these areas is dealt with on the following pages. You may adapt the advice to suit the particular circumstances of your case.