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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: Notice to file SA return given late effect on NTC enquiry window

Where the notice to file the SA return is given late (i.e. after 31 October following the tax year), this will mean that NTC may not have been aware that the customer was a SA taxpayer at the time the NTC enquiry window was originally calculated. For example, if the notice to file the 2004 SA return was not given until 4 December 2004, the customer(s) would already have had to respond to the S17 notice by the first specified date, see CCM11040. And, depending on the customer’s response (i.e., actual or estimated income figure provided), you would have formed a view on when the enquiry window opened and closed.

If a customer is given late notice to file an SA return this will normally have the effect of extending the NTC enquiry window. Once the customer(s) is required to file an SA return, the NTC enquiry window will close on the same date as the SA enquiry window unless an NTC enquiry has already been opened and closed for that year. If the enquiry window has closed because an NTC enquiry has already been opened and closed for that year, you may be able to make a discovery decision (see CCM13000).

Examples

If for 2003/04 the customer(s) had reported an actual income figure by 30 September 2004, the NTC enquiry window would have opened on 1 October 2004, and would be due to close on 1 October 2005. In this case the notice to file the 2004 SA return was not given until 4 December 2004 so the enquiry window closes on 3 March 2006 unless an NTC enquiry has already been opened and closed for that year.

If for 2005/06 the customer(s) provided an estimated income figure by 31 August 2006, the TC enquiry window would not open until after the actual income figure was provided and the final decision had been made, and would be due to close on 31 January 2008, one year after the 2nd specified date. If the notice to file an SA return was given on 4t h December 2006, the late requirement to file would mean that the TC enquiry window would be extended to 3 March 2008 - unless an NTC enquiry had already been opened and closed for that year.

If the notice to file the SA return is given very late, the NTC enquiry window (calculated on the basis that the customer(s) was not within SA) will have closed. For example, if the notice to file the 2004 return was not given until April 2006, the NTC enquiry window would normally have closed by 31 January 2006 at the latest (unless an enquiry into the 2003/2004 entitlement was still open). If the NTC enquiry window has closed, it will normally re-open to coincide with the SA enquiry window. (S19(4)), which sets the end date for making an NTC enquiry, refers to “the person, or either of the persons, to whom the enquiry relates” being required to make an SA return). However, if an enquiry into the entitlement for the year has already been opened and closed, it will not be possible to open another enquiry into that year, because it is only possible to issue one enquiry notice for the year. You may, however, still be able to make a discovery decision - see CCM13000.