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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

CTSA: the filing obligation: unsatisfactory return

To satisfy its filing obligation under FA98/SCH18/PARA3 a company must deliver a company tax return that meets its requirements. If the ‘return’ fails to meet those requirements:

  • it is not a return,


  • the company has not met its obligation.

Such a ‘return’(formerly referred to as an ‘incomplete return’) is now to be described as an ‘unsatisfactory return’. This description is not a statutory term.

As a consequence of a failure to deliver a return a company may be liable to penalties under FA98/SCH18/PARA17 and 18.

A company may deliver a company tax return that satisfies Paragraph 3 but is ‘incorrect’. In this case it has satisfied its obligation under Paragraph 3 but may be liable to penalties under FA98/SCH18/PARA20 for making an incorrect return or uncorrected return. (EM8010 onwards gives more details about incorrect returns).

To satisfy Paragraph 3, a company tax return must include all the information, other documents and statements called for by the Paragraph 3 notice.

Clerical staff check returns to see if they satisfy the Paragraph 3 obligation before logging them and refer difficult or doubtful cases to the relevant Inspector. (See the On-line Company Tax Manual (COM), subject ‘Return Handling’ in the ‘notices and Returns’ business area.)