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HMRC waives 'correct and complete' declaration for agents' online IHT returns

Monday, 2 November, 2015

Practitioners who submit an online inheritance tax (IHT) return on behalf of a client no longer need to provide a declaration that the information is 'correct and complete to the best of their knowledge and belief'.

HM Revenue & Customs launched the online IHT filing service in September. It was accompanied by regulations setting out how returns were to be submitted, including authentication of the sender's identity, and keeping of relevant records.

However, the directions also contained the following requirement:

'An agent, or a person delivering their own information and information on behalf of other persons-(a) completes a declaration to confirm that the information is correct and complete to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person delivering it...'.

In August, Tina Riches of accountancy firm Smith & Williamson pointed out that this requirement could discourage the use of the service by agents who cannot confirm the veracity of a return.

'This wording is not in line with directions in some other areas, such as the January 2011 iXBRL directions, which instead requires the agent to confirm that the return is correct and complete to the best of the knowledge of the officer or person authorised to act for the company, i.e. the taxpayer', commented Riches. She advised HMRC that failure to amend the IHT directions might deter agents' use of the system.

Regulations issued by HMRC last week have now removed the requirement on agents to provide this undertaking. They must, however, still confirm that they have obtained approval from the person on whose behalf the submission is being made, that the information is correct and complete to the best of the knowledge and belief of that person.

Sources