No doubt like everyone else, I am becoming increasingly frustrated at the delays at HMRC Inheritance Tax in dealing with even basic correspondence. Up to about eighteen months ago HMRC issued certificates for Probate in non-taxable estates almost by return but now even in non-taxable estates it is taking them four or five weeks to issue the IHT421. In some taxable estates I have been waiting for an IHT421 for over six months, even when the tax has been paid in full. Reminders have had no effect.
More worryingly, in August I applied for an inheritance tax reference in five taxable estates. I received a reference for one estate but there is no sign of a reference for the others. I cannot understand why a simple administrative matter like issuing a reference, which does not require any skill or knowledge of inheritance tax, can take so long. I need to pay the tax in one of those estates within the next few weeks before interest starts to run. Has anyone any suggestion as to how I can make an inheritance tax payment when I do not have a reference? Do colleagues think that the name and date of death as the reference on a bank transfer to HMRC would suffice? Should I attach a cheque to the Inheritance Tax Account, even though HMRC want payments to be sent to their Banking Section?
STEP should raise these delays with HMRC to see if the situation can be improved.