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HMRC overhauls bereavement services

13th Apr 2012
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HMRC is setting up a dedicated bereavement services team to deal with PAYE and Self Assessment when taxpayers die.

The initiative is the result of the joint working party with professional tax bodies to improve HMRC’s service quality. The main innovation is to include an option on the R27 form to finalise the deceased’s tax affairs that lets their personal representative or executor/administrator nominate someone to act on their behalf.

A new section has been added to the form to provide details of the surviving spouse or civil partner so HMRC can also review their tax arrangements.

The objective of the reforms is to offer a single point of contact when finalising the estate of a PAYE and Self Assessment customer who has died and to make it easier for their executors to finalise the tax situation, HMRC said. The service is designed for people who do not have accountants or solicitors working on their behalf, and does not extend to VAT and other taxes.

"In the longer term it is our intention to join up bereavement services across HMRC to include VAT, NICs, tax credits, IHT and Trusts," a spokesman said.

ACCA head of tax Chas Roy-Chowdhury is a member of the service quality working party. “HMRC recognised that there were some fairly simple solutions to what practitioners were seeing,” he said.

“Everyone wants to help at the time of a bereavement, but the agent’s authorisation dies with the client, so accountants had difficulties dealing with HMRC because it couldn’t exchange information. This new form is a simple, quick win to resolve that situation.”

Roy-Chowdhury added that the new bereavement team was just one of several improvements that have emerged from the working party, which has also looked at how to improve post handling and to minimise delays in informing companies of late PAYE returns. “The group’s been extremely open and done some pretty strong work,” he said.

The new R27 form Reclaiming tax or paying tax when somebody dies is available online and the HMRC Bereavement Helpline can be reached on 0845 300 0627 (select option 2, and then option 4).


Replies (3)

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16th Apr 2012 13:31

Oh dear...

A look at the form means that the executor/ solicitors will take over the submission of the final tax return. They usually dont have a clue.

and why ask for the spouses' NI? John (editor) states 'so HMRC can also review their tax arrangements' - why? I thought everyone was separate and paid their own taxes.

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
23rd Apr 2012 15:43

A bit of extra info

I've double-checked the wording on HMRC's Bereavement Services website, which says, "They [administrator or personal representative] can also provide details of the surviving spouse or civil partner to enable HMRC to take action to review their tax affairs." 

Many thanks, too, to EOAKS for pointing out that the new service appears to be part of a Tell Us Once initiative that was unveiled on on 31 March.


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Nigel Harris
By Nigel Harris
06th Jul 2012 12:55


Is it just strange perspective, or is this the funeral of a horse or something?

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