Revenue and the Probate Office at the Courts Service, launch new online version of the Inland Revenue Affidavit (CA.24)

14th September 2020

Today, Monday, 14 September 2020, Revenue, in collaboration with the Courts Service, Probate Office has launched a new online version of the Inland Revenue Affidavit (Form CA.24), called the “Statement of Affairs (Probate)” (Form SA.2). Introducing this new online first stage to filing and processing an application for probate or administration, aims to reduce previous common errors, as well as allowing applicants file efficiently from their office or home.

The second stage in the process will still require solicitors and personal applicants such as, executors or administrators of an estate, to ensure the required papers for the administration of the Estate, now including the Form SA.2, are received in hard copy by the Probate Office. The Probate Office will confirm to Revenue on ROS the date of issue of the grant in each application and summary information will be available to the Probate Office online – linking up both stages.

Speaking about the launch of the new Form SA.2 Angela Denning, Chief Executive, the Courts Service commented;

I’m delighted that Revenue are launching this new online form with us today because it will bring efficiencies and should speed up the overall probate process for everyone involved; from members of the public and solicitors, to Revenue and Courts Service staff in the Probate Office. Working collaboratively with partners such as Revenue and with the users, in this case including the Law Society, to improve the user experience, is the approach we are taking in the Courts Service across all projects under our modernisation programme, planned for the next 10 years.

These changes will mean that, solicitors and personal applicants such as, executors or administrators of an estate, will be required to follow the steps as outlined below to go through the probate process and also to prove a will:

New Process

  • Solicitors and personal applicants for probate need to log on to ROS or MyAccount to complete and submit to Revenue a new online version called the SA.2.
  • When this application stage is completed and submitted electronically, automatically Revenue generates a Notice of Acknowledgement (Probate) with a unique number and headline information for the Probate Office.
  • The Notice must be printed and submitted by the Executor to the Probate Office along with other required papers concerning the administration of the Estate. The Probate Office as of today, will only accept new Grant of Probate applications that include Revenue’s acknowledgment document.
  • Once the application is approved and the Grant of Probate issues, the Probate Office will notify Revenue electronically.
  • The Form SA.2 will then be activated on Revenue systems and beneficiaries will be contacted to file their IT38 if they reach the required thresholds. Further information in relation to CAT thresholds can be found on the Revenue website here.

The new online Form SA.2 has been developed in line with the Courts Service modernisation programme commitments to the ‘timely administration of justice’, ‘simplified services and processes’, ‘user centric with a focus on accessibility’, ‘collaborative working’ and ‘efficient and effective – value for money’. It also reflects the approach determined by “Our Public Service 2020”, a Civil Service-wide framework for innovation and development with 3 key pillars:

  • delivering for our public
  • innovating for our future
  • developing our people and our organisations.

The new procedures will cover new probate applications for deaths occurring on or after 5 December 2001.

Every effort has been made to ensure the new online version of the Inland Revenue Affidavit is as customer friendly as possible. The former paper-based version ran to 20 pages, with different categories of assets set out in separate sections. Revenue engaged with numerous stakeholders and actively sought feedback when redesigning the online form. A customer satisfaction survey was conducted to identify issues and opportunities to improve the user experience. The Law Society and other representative bodies were also involved in the redesign and scoping process. All relevant feedback was used to drive changes and improvements for the new form.

Information and guidance in relation to the new online Form SA.2 can be found on the Revenue website here.

Additional Notes

  • Removal of the Corrective Affidavit (Form CA.26)

The Form SA.2 will remove the need to complete a follow-up Corrective Affidavit (Form CA.26), where errors or omissions are discovered after the Form is sent to Revenue. Where changes need to be made to details already submitted on the original Form SA.2 online, that form will have the functionality to be amended after a grant has already issued, to reflect such changes. The amended form will be deemed an “amended Return” which captures any changes. This means that a solicitor or a personal applicant will just need to log in to ROS or myAccount and edit their original online application to make any required changes arising after they have filed the original.

No further action will be required on the part of the applicant once the form is amended and resubmitted electronically. Revenue and the Probate Office will receive notifications that the form has been amended after the Grant of Probate has issued. If required, they will correspond with the applicant concerning the changes made.

  • Removal of Form A3C: deaths on or after 5 December 2001

The Form SA.2 will remove the need to complete a paper Form A3C for second or subsequent (De Bonis Non) grant applications concerning deaths occurring on or after 5 December 2001. The new form will also cater for such applications.

  • Provision for attaching documents

The new form will allow for the electronic attachment of wills, codicils and other required supporting documentation. It will still be mandatory to attach the last will and all codicils when applying for a Grant of Probate.