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Murray Beith Murray is a leading Scottish private client law firm.

For over 170 years we have specialised in meeting the legal, financial and administrative needs of individuals and families, family trusts, charities and private companies.

3 minutes reading time (565 words)

HMRC changes Inheritance Tax processes during lockdown

andrewHMRC has made temporary changes to its Inheritance Tax (IHT) processes to minimise delays to its service during the COVID-19 outbreak. The emergency measures have been implemented to ensure the department’s service can continue as smoothly as possible while the Government’s restrictions remain in place.

What changes have been made?

The two areas affected are the methods of paying and signing of forms.

Methods of payment

For the time being, HMRC is not accepting cheques. Executors or trustees should use one of the other available methods to pay the amount due, including Faster Payments (online or telephone banking facilities), CHAPS or Bacs. Within Murray Beith Murray it has been our practice for a number of years to make all payment to HMRC by electronic bank transfer as we consider that to be the most secure and efficient method.

Repayments from HMRC for overpaid IHT will also no longer be made by cheque. Until further notice, rebates will be paid directly into the relevant bank account(s) using Faster Payments. The Executors or Trustees will be required to provide the account details in writing to HMRC to receive the repayment.

This letter can be signed on your behalf by your solicitor – provided the name on the account to be paid to remains the same. However, if the account name needs to be changed, all the parties who originally signed the IHT400 (submitted when tax is payable on an estate) and IHT100 forms (submitted when tax is due on a trust) must sign the repayment request letter.

Signatures

Under normal circumstances, forms IHT400 and IHT100 must be physically signed by each executor or trustee to complete the IHT account. However, the difficulties posed by social distancing rules for signing such documents have resulted in the temporary relaxation of HMRC’s rules.

For the moment, HMRC will accept printed signatures on these forms, if:

  • there is a solicitor, or another professional agent, acting on behalf of the estate;
  • the executors’ or trustees’ names and other personal details are shown on the declaration page; and
  • the agent includes a clear statement confirming that all executors or trustees have viewed the account and have agreed to be bound by the declaration.

Executry and Trust services during the coronavirus pandemic

In the current situation, the roles of an executor and trustee will be especially challenging as many of the usual processes have been adapted. We are here to keep you right. We will ensure that at every stage you receive the most up-to-date and relevant advice and support. Our team will address any practical challenges the pandemic poses to you when fulfilling your responsibilities and help to make the legal process run as smoothly as possible.

Specialist Executry and Trusts Solicitors, Edinburgh

At Murray Beith Murray, we are committed to providing a high-quality service during these unfamiliar times. If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered here, or if you require assistance with any other Executry or Trusts matter, please complete our contact form or call us on 0131 341 5051.

Our personal, attentive service coupled with sage, astute and commercially-minded guidance, allows us to build long-term, ongoing relationships with our clients, helping them to protect assets throughout generations. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity and trust, and the expert guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment, not an expense.

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