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HMRC internal manual

Shares and Assets Valuation Manual

Liaison with Valuation Office Agency and other offices: Procedure for References - reviewing and failure of negotiations

Reviewing procedure for references

Not negotiated requests

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) target is to issue a not negotiated report within an average of 20 working days of receipt of the case or from receipt of additional information.  Where the VOA is unable to accept the suggested values, an indicative opinion of value will be provided. 

If the VOA considers it would not be appropriate to provide not negotiated advice because the case is complex requiring further information or particularly sensitive they will contact SAV within 10 days of receipt. If the SAV caseworker has no objection it will be treated as a request for a negotiated valuation.

Negotiated valuations

Requests for negotiated valuations will comprise:

  • Complex or sensitive cases which SAV has indicated should be treated as a negotiated case (see above)
  • Cases where SAV indicate from the outset a negotiated valuation is required and the VOA is unable to accept the value returned by the parties
  • Cases previously reported as not negotiated and the SAV caseworker has referred the matter back for negotiation.   

Where formal negotiations are undertaken, the SAV valuer should request a progress report every three months.

Failure of negotiations

Whenever the VOA finds that negotiations are becoming protracted and no later than after six months, they will report

  • their opinion of value
  • the parties’ latest offer
  • brief details of the main points of difference and/or of the parties’ failure to respond.

Where, active negotiations are still proceeding at the end of the period, the VOA may notify SAV and seek further instructions. The above time limits start again if SAV asks the VOA to continue their negotiations.

Where there appears to be a misunderstanding between the parties and the VOA about the facts, or a disagreement on the principles of valuation, consideration should be given to invite them to attend a meeting with SAV and the taxpayer or their representative as a tripartite discussion might help to settle the matter.

Wherever areas of difficulty arise in dealing with the VOA at any point, the case should be referred through to the SAV Valuation Office Liaison Officer (VOLO) in the Service Delivery Team (SDT). The SAV VOLO will liaise with the VOA in order to resolve these difficulties.

Defendable on appeal (DOA) action

Whenever the VOA finds that negotiations are becoming entrenched or the parties are substantially delaying, they will invite SAV to state, within 14 days, whether there is enough tax at stake to justify the preparation of a Defendable on Appeal valuation.  Any such case should first be discussed with the SAV VOLO and the Litigation and Technical Advice Team (LTAT).

The request for a DOA report together with the file should be routed to the SDT, who will forward the request to the VO Liaison Officer (at the Chief Executive Office’s Technical Centre) for onward transmission to the VOA caseworker.  The VOA’s DOA report will then be returned to SAV via the VOA Technical Advisers and the SAV VOLO.

On receipt of the DOA report the parties may be told that the VOA has confirmed that it considers its opinion of value (or any amended figure) to be ‘defendable’, and a further attempt may be made to reach agreement with them.  Failing this, the matter should be referred to the LTAT.

(See Chapter 117 of this manual at SVM117000).

  Additional Guidance: SVM150000