Harris v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 204 (TC)

WTLR Issue: Spring 2018 #171

GLYNE T HARRIS AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE 
OF HELENA NORMA MCDONALD (DECEASED)

V

THE COMMISSIONERS FOR 
HER MAJESTY’S REVENUE & CUSTOMS

Analysis

HMRC successfully applied to strike out Mr Harris’ appeal against an inheritance tax determination, under Rule 8 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Tax Chamber) Rules 2009.
 Mr Hughes was appointed as Administrator of the deceased’s estate in June 2013. HMRC opened an enquiry into the IHT400 he filed, and determined that the IHT payable was £341,278.76. Mr Harris requested a statutory review of this determination; this upheld the determination. Mr Harris appealed against the findings of this review, though he did not challenge the quantum of the determination.


The basis of Mr Harris’s appeal was that he should not be liable for meeting the IHT liability as he no longer had sufficient funds to do so. He had transferred a significant part (and possibly all) of the estate’s funds to the deceased’s brother, on the understanding that this brother would meet the estate’s liabilities. The brother had subsequently moved to Barbados without honouring this purported arrangement.

Held:


1) The appeal was struck out as it had no reasonable prospects of success.


2) Under s200 IHTA, Personal Representatives have to account for any inheritance tax 
arising at the time of death. A personal representative cannot escape liability because they have transferred the estate assets to a beneficiary, or because they are ignorant of their obligations.

JUDGE NICHOLAS ALEKSANDER:
 [1] Mr Harris was appointed as personal representative of the late Helena McDonald by letters of administration issued in the High Court on 12 June 2013. [2] On 28 April 2013, Mr Harris filed IHT400 – an inheritance tax account – with HMRC. On 16 April 2014, HMRC opened an enquiry into …
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Counsel Details

Simon Bracegirdle
, officer for HM Revenue & Customs (HM Revenue & Customs Solicitor’s Office, South West Wing, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4RD) for the respondents.
The appellant did not attend and was not represented.

Legislation Referenced

  • Inheritance Tax Act 1984, ss 4, 200, 216 and 227