Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Assessing Time Limits: Normal time limits: What are the normal time limits

The normal time limit for making an assessment to recover tax that has been

  • under-assessed or under-declared, or
  • over-repaid or paid or credited

is 4 years from the end of the relevant tax period, see CH51700.

Within this 4-year time limit, there are other time limits that must be considered for all VAT and other indirect taxes assessments. For more information about

  • VAT tax assessments, see CH51820
  • penalty, interest and default surcharge assessments, see CH51840
  • assessments to recover excessive VAT repayments or VAT credits, see CH51860 and CH51880
  • insurance premium tax, aggregates levy, climate change levy and landfill tax assessments, see CH51920
  • insurance premium tax, aggregates levy, climate change levy and landfill tax penalty and interest assessments, see CH51940
  • insurance premium tax, aggregates levy, climate change levy and landfill tax assessments to recover over-claimed credits, see CH51960
  • excise duty limitations, see CH51980.

For details of the transitional provisions that apply to

  • VAT assessments made in the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 or under-declared, see CH51520
  • direct taxes, see CH51550
  • assessments for insurance premium tax, aggregates levy, climate change levy and landfill tax in the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011, see CH51570.

There are some exceptions to the normal time limit. For example

  1. Where a person has been required to file a Self Assessment tax return but has failed to do so, the period in which we may make an HMRC determination in the absence of that return is 3 years beginning with the statutory filing date for the return.

Frank receives a notice requiring him to make an SA return for the tax year 2012-13. If Frank does not send us a completed return we can make an HMRC determination of the tax on or before 30 January 2017.

  1. The period in which we may make an assessment to withdraw excessive Enterprise Investment Scheme relief is 6 years from the end of the relevant tax year.

You can find details of the time limits that apply for each type of assessment in the tables at CH56000+. You should check the appropriate table before making your assessment.