TNRB - claiming Business Relief

I need to consider claiming an unused NRB from 1991. The estate included gifts of assets that may have qualified for BPR, to non-exempt beneficiaries. Neither the firm that dealt nor the family have a copy of the IHT200.

If BPR was claimed, potentially the TNRB will cover the value of the survivor’s estate so no IHT payable. If BPR wasn’t claimed, there will be an IHT liability.

In completing the IHT402 we are even unsure how to value the business assets (which were sold in 1992) let alone consider whether relief was actually claimed on them.

My concern is that if the Executors now assume that BPR was claimed and agreed in 1991, that HMRC may have some historical evidence to the contrary and potentially look to issue penalties for over-claiming the relief.

How would practitioners deal with this situation? Do any practitioners have knowledge of HMRC retaining details of historical BPR claims and if so, can a request be made?

Justin Wallace
Brewer Harding & Rowe

I don’t know the answer to this, but wonder whether BPR actually has to be claimed at the time - i.e. it could apply to the 1991 estate irrespective of whether it was claimed at the time.

s.104(1) just says “…shall be treated as reduced…”

I would ask HMRC if they have the original IHT account or data. They must be asked all the time.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

The person that dealt with the 1991 estate is now retired but having previously worked with him at another firm and knowing his attention to detail, I suspect he would have claimed the BPR in 1991. (The other firm does not hold the historical records)

How can I assume that BPR was claimed and if so to what extent? There are elements of “Business Property” which I feel would have been granted relief and others where the claim for relief may have been tenuous.

I agree asking HMRC to see if they have the historical info may be the only way to proceed. If they don’t have the information, I think we can only “assume” that BPR was claimed but I have no idea as to historical values etc.

I just wondered if there were any practitioners out there who may have come across a similar scenario and how they dealt with it.

Justin Wallace
Brewer Harding & Rowe