GROB - proving joint occupation of house - devil in the detail

Further to my previous post:

on the subject of co-occupation after donor has made half of house over to cousin donee as a means of avoiding GWRB under s102 (various subsections) 1986 FA, and the pre-owned assets regime, it seems that the IHT manual and the very helpful feedback from members here indicates this is really a quite complicated area, and that the conduct of the co-occupiers, right down to the granular detail of what you share on maintenance, and more importantly what you definitely do NOT share, is really the acid test that HMRC, or ultimately The Court will need to sift through.

Can anyone here recommend a suitable source, or even a barrister, who is going to be able to work with existing guidelines, or recent case history to provide a clearer picture of exactly what cohabitees should be doing NOW as they cohabit (and indeed how much time spent there is required to meet the standard of occupation) to show that the property is jointly occupied and owned but that the donor who has given away one half is no longer occupying the whole - one half really has been given away.
I’ve been reading about i) having totally separate defined areas of the property - i.e. not intermingled, thus ii) taking photos showing donee’s possessions in their part of the property iii) paying half the council tax iv) recording a beneficial half share with a Deed of Trust v) Recording a legal half ownership at the LR. IHT manual gives various examples but this seems like a very finely detailed granular area.

For example, is this something that should be checked with HMRC now, for approval rather than after donor dies?

Many thanks for your suggestions,

Adam (qualifying in 3 weeks)

I have had very poor returns from trying to force HMRC into clarifying points such as this. But now I invariably cannot tie things to an actual taxpayer.

I suggest you try a non-statutory clearance applicationhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/non-statutory-clearance-service-guidance

You will need to fully disclose all the facts and the taxpayers’ identities. HMRC will try everything to assert that yours is not an application to which they will respond. As judicial review is the only remedy for a bone-headed response they may in practice have the last word. They do not like hypotheticals but if you give them concrete facts you may be able to complain to the Adjudicator.

Jack Harper