IHTM23116 - Contacting the VOA:
guidance on completion of VOA 4
IHTM23002) responses such as,
‘negotiations are in progress’ and ‘in contact
with the taxpayer' have been widely used in the past. These are no
longer satisfactory responses.
We are looking for the VOA to provide us
with full details of the present position. Ideally, sufficient
information to enable you to satisfactorily answer any query from
the taxpayer and review the cost effectiveness of prolonged
discussion or consideration of the valuation by the VOA.
The VOA should, for instance, in response
to a VOA 4 enquiry, always advise us of the valuations being
discussed and of the date of the most recent contact with the
taxpayer, if indeed contact has been made.
A lot depends therefore on the tone and
nature of your initial VOA 4 enquiry. Think about what you expect
to achieve from the issue of the VOA 4. What information do you
require? The VOA should be asked to provide specific details in
relation to each valuation referral. It is difficult to lay down a
stock form of words here as the terms of your enquiry will depend
on the circumstances of your case.
If the VOA response contains insufficient
detail, you should refer back to the VOA (by e-mail or phone) for
the details you want and then, if there is still no progress,
consult your Team Leader (if you are in ComplianceGroup ) or refer
the file to TSS (if you are in PC&S ) to take the matter
The VOA’s time limit for responding
to both internal and external correspondence is now generally 15
working days (only for the Initial Appraisal (
IHTM23222) process does a 20 working
day period remain). If there is no response to the VOA 4 within a
few days after the prescribed period, you should telephone to
follow up. Thereafter, consult your Team Leader (Compliance Group)
or refer the file to TSS (PC&S) if you continue to have
difficulty in getting an interim (IHTM23080) or substantive (
When considering the implications of a
sale of property always refer to the instructions (
IHTM23185) elsewhere in this section to
decide whether reference to the VOA is necessary.
When completing the form VOA 4 you will
need to provide the VOA with enough information to decide whether
the sale price, or a value alternative to that originally offered
by the taxpayer, can be adopted for IHT purposes. Similarly, you
should tell the VOA of the name and address of any agent appointed
to agree the valuation.
The form should also be used in
appropriate cases where there is a IHTA84/S191) / claim for loss on
sale of land (
IHTM33001). Full details of the claim
should be provided for the VOA. You should ask the VOA to confirm
that the sale price was the best consideration that could
reasonably have been obtained for the property at the time of
If negotiations become deadlocked the VOA
will ask us to consider whether an appeal report (
IHTM23090) is warranted.
Any response from us to the VOA regarding
this should normally be on form VOA 4.