Inheritance tax manual - Appendix 17 : Time Limits and Targets for IHT Cases

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Appendix 17 : Time Limits and Targets for IHT Cases


The purpose of time limits is to provide a framework within which the VOA is expected to provide the service to HMRC). The aim should be to complete the requisite action within the limits shown in the second column below and they should, therefore, normally be considered to be maxima.

However, for the performance targets for reporting cases contained in the Service Level Agreement, please note these are average times and HMRC fully accepts that some cases will take longer to report than the average times shown – conversely the majority of cases should be reported well within the target time shown.

All references to "days" should be read as working days.

Description and Activity

Time Limit

SLA Performance Target


Response to all correspondence
(internal and external)

15 – 20 days


Initial Appraisal


Report within an average of 5 days



Contact parties including any request for further information

20 days


Contact parties with opinion

40 days




Report agreement in non-agricultural (Type 180) cases


Report within an average of 80 days

Report agreement in agricultural (Type 185) cases


Report within an average of 145 days

Sector leader review


Sector leader to review case

60 days


Case conference


VOA caseworker to contact HMRC caseworker to discuss progress

120 days


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