Improving future compliance: personal representatives employing agents
If it appears from your investigations into an omission or undervaluation that the taxpayer has left matter in the hands of agents or has not checked work done by the agents then you may wish to offer advice on the following lines to help future compliance.
‘Where a personal representative (PR) employs an agent to act on their behalf we still expect the PR to act carefully and prudently to make sure the account they are being asked to sign is correct.
Where for example they have sorted through the deceased’s papers and passed on to their agents those that might point to estate assets, we expect the PR to check with the agent, at or before signing the account, that the agent has made and completed their enquiries into those potential assets. They should also make sure that where assets have been identified from those enquiries they have been properly included in the account.
We expect PRs to make similar checks when subsequent papers are found or correspondence is received and passed on to agents. Where correspondence that points to further assets is received after he account has been delivered then the PR needs to ensure that IHT we are notified of the additional assets as soon as possible, and within 6 months at the latest, in order to ensure that they do not make themselves liable to a s.248 penalty.’