Improving future compliance: completing enquiries before delivering an account
If when you are investigating an omission or undervaluation it becomes clear that the taxpayer or agent did not make full enquiries or did not complete their enquiries into as asset or liability, you may wish to offer advice on the following lines to the agents to help ensure compliance in the future.
‘The IHT 14 leaflet is good at outlining the sort of enquiries that ought to be made. It is also worthwhile passing to new clients as it helps them to understand that they have particular statutory responsibilities to properly account for all estate property.
Do not submit an account until all your enquiries are complete. That means not just asking the questions but waiting for the answers and following up your enquiries as necessary. If the responses you get point to the possibility of additional assets these too need to be followed up as do partial answers. Sometimes enquiries are answered and the answer itself is then overlooked. The message here is know what enquiries you have raised; check to see you have had satisfactory replies, and ensure the information is properly reflected in the IHT400.’