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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Opening and Working Enquiries: NTC enquiry windows - multiple awards during the year - single enquiry


An enquiry under S19(1) is made into the entitlement of a person, or the joint entitlement of persons, to a tax credit for a tax year. Where several awards have been made to the same person, or to the same couple, during the year (because their entitlement has ceased and started up again) they will in aggregate make up that person’s, or that couple’s, entitlement for the year. An enquiry under S19 will therefore be into the person’s, or the couple’s, aggregate entitlement for the whole year, not into each of the award periods.

For example in March 2003 Katie and Nick claim tax credits for 2003/2004. On 1 July 2003 they cease to be entitled to tax credits because they go to Spain to work in a bar. They return to the UK on 15 January 2004 and again claim tax credits. Katie and Nick will have had two awards during 2003/2004:

6 April 2003 to 30 June 2003 and
15 January 2004 to 5 April 2004

The enquiry will be into their entitlement for 2003/2004. There can be only one enquiry which covers both awards.

Separate S17 notices will have been issued for each period so you will need to determine the enquiry window for each period involved (see CCM12095) to avoid opening an enquiry before the enquiry window that relates to the year as a whole opens, or after it has closed.