HMRC has been working on improving its processes and timescales for IHT400s. The main changes are summarised below:
In some cases, HMRC won't look at the IHT400 in more detail once it has sent its initial calculations. It will confirm in writing if it has finished its investigations or needs to look at the account in more detail. If it does need to look at the account in more detail, it will give a specific date by which you can expect to hear from it with any questions. The date will be 12 weeks from when it issued its initial calculations. If you have not heard anything within 12 weeks, you can assume that it does not have any questions.
HMRC will no longer issue a clearance letter when it has finished its checks. If you want to apply for clearance, you should use form IHT30. HMRC asks that you only apply for clearance if you are sure there are no more changes to report, or following two years from the date of death.
HMRC has requested that agents report any changes all in one go where possible. It asks that you report any changes once the values are final or when 18 months have passed following the date of death.
This update was later followed by a consultation where the Office of Tax Simplification sought views from those with concerns about the complexity and processes that have to be followed regarding inheritance tax. The consultation ran from 27 April 2018 to 8 June 2018 and we will have to wait and see what the outcome is following the public feedback.