Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
Sometimes I despair!
Over the years a few friends and clients have asked me to act as their executor, not many and certainly none as old as this particular client who sadly passed away at the end of last year.
In due course, HMRC were notified and issued the appropriate paperwork which had to be signed and returned to them, which I signed as joint executor but sent on the firm's letterhead. In response I received a note asking me to submit a 64-8 as apparently we were not authorised to deal with this client's affairs (presumably they meant the estate as we had acted for the client personally for many years). I completed it as executor and signed it, authorising the firm to act.
No use. Letter and form were returned, with a letter effectively questioning why I was writing to them!
I replied as politely as I could, returned the original letter and signed 64-8 and, in a spirit of unbridled helpfulness enclosed a copy of the will and grant of probate showing that I was indeed the executor and therefore authorised to sign on behalf of the estate.
Still no use, 64-8 returned again, unable to accept etc.
This time I just filed it on the client file in despair. Since I will be corresponding with HMRC as executor I am not sure they should have asked for a 64-8 anyway, that's tantamount to appointing myself as my own agent. Post for the estate will come to me either way, whether as executor or agent so it shouldn't make any difference, but what a waste of time!
Or maybe I have missed something along the line. When HMRC send you a form and ask you to sign and return it, you do and then they send it back asking why you have sent it to them, you have to wonder what's going on!!