Letters of offer: signature
Those who are going to make the payments should normally sign a letter of offer. The following are situations where someone else other than the original taxpayer signs the offer.
Taxpayer is dead
Penalty action cannot be taken against the personal representatives of a person who has incurred a penalty and has since died. IHTA84/S250(2) no longer applies and will be repealed in due course. Signature by a reputable agent
An agent may sign the offer, provided the offer satisfies all the required conditions and there is no reason to believe that the agent has not been authorised by the taxpayer to make it. The letter may be amended to read as in the following examples (the words in brackets should be used if the culpability is disputed (IHTM36233))
Example - where penalties only are included in the offer
Liability to penalties for the year to 5 April XXXX under the provisions of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 has been incurred (which HMRC allege has been incurred) by Thomas Brown of 1 Palace Road, Anytown, Bucks as Personal Representative of Alice White deceased,
I/we am/are authorised on behalf of the said Thomas Brown to hereby offer in consideration of no proceedings being taken against him in respect of the said penalties…’
Example - where tax interest and penalties are included in the offer
‘In consideration of no proceedings being taken against William Smith of 9 Trafford Street, Melchester, Merseyside in respect of the duties … which he acknowledges to beu npaid by reason (which are alleged by HMRC to be unpaid by reason) wholly or in part, of his default, or in respect of the penalties and interest to which he may thereby become liable … I/we am/are authorised on behalf of the said William Smith to hereby offerin respect of …’
If, in an exceptional case, it is suggested that someone should sign the offer in addition or in place of the taxpayer you should consult Tax Administration, Litigation and Advice (TALA) (IHTM36361) via your SO manager and the Penalty Portfolio Holder.