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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

Corporation Tax: accounting periods: insufficient information to determine

ICTA88/S12 (8)

It may not be possible to determine an accounting period in accordance with CTA09/S8 - S12, formerly ICTA88/S12 (1) - (7), because a company has failed to make returns or supply accounts or other information. If the beginning or end of any accounting period is uncertain, ICTA88/S12 (8) allows an officer to make an assessment on the company for any appropriate period, provided this period does not exceed twelve months. That period is treated as an accounting period of the company unless:

  • it is revised on receipt of further facts, or
  • the company discloses the true accounting period on appeal.

In the latter case, the assessment has effect as if it were an assessment or assessments for the true accounting period or periods.

The power in ICTA88/S12 (8) is available where the beginning or end of any accounting period is uncertain. The Court of Appeal considered whether an assessment was made for an uncertain accounting period in Kelsall v Stipplechoice Ltd (1995) 67TC349. It held that the question whether there was uncertainty was subjective.

The revision power under ICTA88/S12 (8)(a) may only be used if there is uncertainty. This is clearly the case where a company has not submitted accounts covering an accounting period. In any other case the officer should record the reason.

The company (or its agent) should be advised.