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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

The effects of death, insolvency and incapacity on registration: liabilities of executors as opposed to executors de son tort


  • an executor has been appointed (either by the will of the deceased or by the courts), and
  • there is also an executor de son tort running the business on a day-to-day basis

you can regard the executor de son tort as both

  • a person otherwise acting in a representative capacity within the terms of regulation 30 and
  • the person carrying on that business within the terms or regulation 9.

This means that the liability for any debts arising from the business activities of the deceased, whether pre- or post-death, can be treated as belonging with the executor de son tort.

You can ignore the appointed executor in this situation as far as the VAT debts of the business are concerned.

But you should be aware that, if you do decide to treat the executor de son tort as the taxable person, there may be complications if enforcement action is being taken and the executor - the person in whom the legal title of the assets of the business vests - intervenes to prevent it.