IHT operational procedures: HMRC update 17 March 2021

17 Mar 2021

HMRC have provided us, as members of the Trust and Estates Agents Advisory Group, with an update on operational procedures relating to Clearance requests and IHT calculations.

Clearance Requests

In the August 2020 Trust and Estates Newsletter we advised we would no longer be stamping and returning the IHT30. Instead we are issuing a letter which contains a unique code. The letter will serve the same purpose as the stamped certificate. Our reason for the change was that in order to stamp and return IHT30s we needed our staff to be present in the office whereas the letter can be issued from home.

We are currently receiving high volumes of telephone calls, IHT400 accounts and IHT post. We have recently redeployed additional staff to ensure we can meet our service level aims of working 80% of our post within 15 working days. We are not treating clearance requests with any different priority to any other correspondence. We would ask you to bear with us in the interim.

The form IHT30 explains that you should only apply for clearance when you are sure that there will be no more amendments to report to the estate and you are ready to make the final distributions from the estate. Nothing has changed in our expectations in the move from the IHT30 to the issue of a letter in its place.

IHT Calculations

We outlined in the June 2020 Trust and Estates Newsletter  that with many more of our people working from home we are currently unable to print and issue repayment calculations, or calculations where the balance to pay is ’nil’. However, we will normally write to you to tell you the amount of tax and interest we’ve calculated that is now due or repayable. If you think that we have made a mistake in our calculations, please call the Inheritance Tax helpline on 0300 123 1072.

We need staff to be present in the office to print these types of calculations. We are not yet sure when we will be in a position to invite staff into the Inheritance Tax Office in greater numbers. We are grateful for your patience and understanding until we can achieve that.