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HMRC internal manual

VAT Refunds Manual

Who is entitled to claim: death, incapacity, insolvency, dissolved companies

In these situations the legally appointed representative steps into the shoes of the taxable person. A claim may be made by

  • that representative where the claim arises out of the business activities in relation to which he has been appointed
  • a person the representative nominates (using form 64-8) to handle the claim.

This page also sets out what should happen with dissolved companies.

Death

Where a person has died and the estate is still being wound up, any amounts

  • over-declared or overpaid by the deceased
  • not claimed by way of input tax by the deceased

may be claimed by the executor on behalf of the estate.

The fact that the deceased’s estate has been wound up does not mean, however, that no further claims can be made. The appointment of an executor is an appointment for life and if further claims emerge after the estate has been wound up, the executor is bound by his duty to the beneficiaries to pursue the claim – subject to the statutory time limits.

Incapacity

Where a person has become incapacitated (such that a personal representative has had to be appointed), a claim may be made by

  • the legally appointed personal representative acting on his behalf, for example, the person with power of attorney, or
  • a person named by the legally appointed personal representative to handle the claim for whom the representative has signed and submitted a 64-8.

Insolvency

Where a natural person has become bankrupt, the person acting on his behalf, for example, the trustee in bankruptcy or other person appointed under the Insolvency Acts, may make the claim on behalf of the bankrupt person. You should not accept a claim from anyone other than the claimant’s personal representative.

Where a company goes into administration or into liquidation, it will be the administrator, liquidator, receiver or other insolvency practitioner (the person appointed under the Insolvency Acts) who may make the claim. You should not accept a claim from anyone other than the insolvency practitioner.

In none of the above cases is the claim payable to the representative in his personal capacity.

Where a claim is submitted by a taxable person before he dies, becomes insolvent or incapacitated and, at the time of his dying, becoming insolvent or incapacitated that claim has still not been paid, it may only be pursued by the executor, trustee in bankruptcy, administrator, liquidator, etc.

Furthermore, payment should only be made to the representative rather than to the taxable person himself directly. That is so notwithstanding the fact that it was the taxable person who initiated the claim.

Dissolved companies

Where a company has been dissolved, wound up or struck off, a claim ‘on behalf of’ that company is not valid unless the right to make the claim has been assigned to the person making it.

If the right to make the claim has not been assigned before the company is dissolved, wound up, or struck off, it becomes ‘ownerless goods’ (bona vacantia) and becomes property of the Crown.

Where a claim is made in the name of a company which has been dissolved and that company is subsequently restored to the Register of Companies, the claim is retrospectively validated so that it is treated as having been made by the company.

Claims will be subject to the relevant time limits.

Further guidance on bona vacantia is available in the Bona Vacantia Guidance.