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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Opening and Working Enquiries: SA Returns filed on time then taxpayer amends return

A taxpayer who has made a return before the filing date can amend it at any time up to one year after 31 January following the end of the tax year, i.e. an amendment to the 2007/08 return could be made at any time up to 31 January 2010.

If the amendment is made before the 31 January following the end of the tax year the enquiry window is unchanged and is as shown in CCM12620.

If the amendment is made after the 31 January following the end of the tax year an enquiry can be opened into the amended return at any time up to the quarter day next following the first anniversary of the date on which the amendment was made. The quarter days are 31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October. So if a taxpayer amended their 2007/08 SA return on 15 August 2009, an enquiry could be opened into the amended return at any time up to the next quarter day (31 October ) following the first anniversary of the date of the amendment (15 August 2010) – i.e. up to 31 October 2010.

Example

Lucca is a self employed web site designer. He claimed WTC for 2007/08, based on his self employed income for 2006/07. He responds to the 2007/08 S17 notice on 15 July 2008 using an estimate of his income for 2007/08. An interim decision on his entitlement is made on 7 August 2008, and he is reminded that he will need to report his final income figure by 31 January 2009. Note that the TC enquiry window has not opened at this stage.

Lucca sends in his 2007/08 SA return electronically on 28 December 2008, and at the same time reports the final income figure for TC. A final decision on his entitlement for 2007/08 is made on 27 January 2009, and the enquiry window opens on 28 January 2009.

As Lucca filed his SA return electronically before 31 January, the time limit for opening an enquiry into that return is 28 December 2009. The TC enquiry window will therefore close on 28 December 2009 unless the SA return becomes final before that date (see CCM12660) or finality is delayed because there is an ongoing SA enquiry into the return (see CCM12650).

Lucca realises he has made a mistake in his SA return, and he amends it on 1 May 2009. The time limit for opening an enquiry into that return is the next quarter day (31 July) following the first anniversary (1 May 2010) of the date on which the amendment was made – i.e. 31 July 2010. The TC enquiry window will therefore close on 31 July 2010 unless the amended return becomes final before that date (see CCM12660) or finality is delayed because there is an ongoing SA enquiry into the amended return (see CCM12650).