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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Assessing Time Limits: Extended time limits: Failure to notify or register

The time limit for failure to notify is 20 years, see CH53600,

  • whether or not the failure was deliberate, see CH53900,
  • but not for obligations to notify for excise duties.

Select the tax that you are interested in for details.

Income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax
VAT
Excise Duty
Aggregates levy, climate change levy, landfill tax and insurance premium tax
All taxes

Income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax

The 20-year time limit for assessing tax applies where there has been a loss of tax due to a failure to notify liability to the tax.

VAT

The 20-year time limit for assessing tax applies where there has been a loss of tax and

  • a person has failed to notify liability to register for VAT, or
  • a non-taxable person, see CH51700, has failed to notify HMRC for VAT purposes about the acquisition in the UK from another EU member state of

    • goods subject to excise duty, or
    • a new means of transport.

The 20-year time limit applies in all cases for VAT. There are transitional provisions that apply where you use the 20-year time limit to make an assessment for a relevant tax period ending on or before 31 March 2010. See CH51530 for details.

All VAT tax assessments made more than 2 years after the end of the relevant prescribed accounting period are subject to the 12 months evidence of facts rule, see CH51820.

Example

George left school and set up a successful IT business. He decided not to join the tax system, did not notify his liability to income tax and did not register for VAT when turnover crossed the threshold. As business expanded he took on employees and though he made “deductions” from their pay he never made any PAYE returns. His failure is judged to be deliberate when discovered 20 years later. All relevant tax periods for all taxes can be assessed.

Excise Duty

The 20 year time limit for assessing duty applies where there has been a loss of tax due to a deliberate failure to comply with an excise duty obligation under FA08/SCH41/PARA1, see CH71300.

Where the failure is not deliberate, the normal time limit, see CH52100, will apply.

Aggregates levy, climate change levy, landfill tax and insurance premium tax

The 20-year time limit for assessing tax applies where there has been a loss of tax and a person has failed to notify liability to register for one of these taxes.

The 20-year time limit applies in all cases for these taxes. There are transitional provisions that apply where you use the 20-year time limit to make an assessment for a relevant tax period ending on or before 31 March 2010. See CH51570 for details.

All tax assessments for these taxes made more than 2 years after the end of the relevant accounting period or relevant event are subject to the 12 months evidence of facts rule, see CH51920.

All taxes

For all taxes, the nature of the taxpayer’s behaviour will be relevant to the question of penalties for failure to notify. Penalties for a failure to comply with a relevant obligation are covered in CH70000.