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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Capital Gains Tax and Self Assessment: time limits

Before Self Assessment there were two standard time limits for making claims or elections - two years or six years after the end of the chargeable period. For individuals and others liable to Capital Gains Tax, the Self Assessment provisions started for the year 1996-97. Guidance on the ITSA provisions is contained in the Enquiry Manual and on the CTSA provisions in the Company Taxation Manual.

For companies etc. liable to Corporation Tax on chargeable gains these limits were not initially changed. But for individuals and others liable to Capital Gains Tax they were amended by FA96/SCH21 for 1996/97 onwards.

Under Self Assessment the normal return filing date for persons other than a company was 31 January following the year of assessment. There was then a further 12 month period to the following 31 January during which the return could be amended (unless it was under enquiry). The standard two year time limit was reduced under Self Assessment to some 22 months, so that it coincided with the end of the normal amendment period.

Under Self Assessment the six year time limit was reduced for persons other than a company to some five years ten months, that is, it ended five years after the 31 January following the year of assessment.

Further changes were made by FA2008. The effect of these changes is that for most claims made on or after 1 April 2010 the period was reduced to:

  • four years from the end of the year of assessment to which the claim relates, for persons other than a company,
  • four years from the end of the accounting period to which the claim relates, for companies.

Further guidance on the general time limits that apply to the making and amending of claims can be found in the:

  • Self Assessment Claims Manual at SACM3035 for persons other than a company.
  • Company Taxation Manual at CTM90610 for companies.

Where a specific time limit applies to a claim or election guidance is given in the relevant part of the manual. An example is TCGA92/S161, see CG69200+.