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HMRC internal manual

Air Passenger Duty

Special accounting schemes: Making adjustments to declared liability

There may be occasions where HMRC or the aircraft operator wish to make an adjustment to a previous APD return. The rules are set out below.

All schemes

If the scheme has

  • not been followed as agreed; or
  • incorrect data has been used; or
  • the scheme has been followed as agreed but exceptional circumstances (such as industrial action) distort the results; then

the CAT should issue an assessment to correct the situation.

Schemes where provision for an adjustment has not been agreed in advance

If the scheme has been followed as agreed and the correct data used then no retrospective adjustment can be made.

Provisional schemes

Where provision for an adjustment has been agreed in advance, the aircraft operator may make retrospective adjustments to previous duty declarations but:

  • full details of any such provision must be agreed at the outset as part of the scheme and detailed in the letter of approval;
  • only those adjustments referred to in the approval letter will be permitted; and
  • all such adjustments must be applied unless both the CAT and the operator agree otherwise (for example if the amount of the adjustment is negligible).

In such circumstances neither party is liable to interest payment due to an earlier under/over payment highlighted by the need for an adjustment.

Special accounting schemes post 1 April 2001

From 1 April 2001 the provisions of special accounting schemes were amended to allow them to be used to establish the numbers of passengers carried in the lowest and higher classes on a flight and the numbers of exempt passengers carried from Scottish Highlands and Islands airports.