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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Assessing Time Limits: The Time Limits: When the new time limits take effect: Excise duty - normal time limits and transitional provisions

Normal time limit

For excise duty, the new time limits, see CH53100, apply to any assessment made on or after 1 April 2011, regardless of the date that the liability to duty arose or the relevant accounting period, if any, involved.

The normal time limit is 4 years from the end of the period that begins with the time that the liability to duty arose

Extended time limit

There has been no change in the extended time limit of 20 years for deliberate behaviour of the person

Transitional provisions

In the transitional period from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 the 3 year time limit will be gradually extended so that assessments going back 4 years cannot be made for the liability to duty occurring before 1 April 2008. This ensures that something that was out of time for an assessment at midnight on 31 March 2011, under the 3 year limit, cannot become in time again on 1 April 2011 under the new 4 year limit.