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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Assessing Time Limits: Table of time limits for relevant taxes: Excise duty

  Assessment Time limit Legislation
1 Assessment  4 years from when the liability to duty arose; or 4 years from the relevant time - subject to 12 months evidence of facts rule. FA94/S12(4), FA94/S12A(4) as amended by F(No3)A10/SCH13
2 Assessment of amount due from a person in a case involving a loss of duty brought about deliberately by the person assessed or by another person acting on the person’s behalf, or where a person has participated in a transaction knowing it was part of arrangements that were intended to bring about a loss of duty 20 years from when the liability to duty arose; or 4 years from the relevant time - subject to 12 months evidence of facts rule FA94/S12(5), FA94/S12A(6) as amended by F(No3)A10/SCH13
3 Assessment of amount due following grant of a default licence under BGDA1981/SCH4A/PARA4 12 months from the due date specified in the default notice* and for machines available for play 4 years before the date of the default notice. BGDA81/SCH4A PARA 2(3) and PARA 6 as amended by F(No3)A10/SCH13 

 Excise assessment provisions where the time limits are determined by section 12A of FA1994, and therefore are also changed as above by F(No.3)A 2010, are

  • Section 61, 94, 96 or 167 of CEMA79
  • Section 8, 10, 11 or 36G of the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 (ALDA79)
  • Section 10, 13, 13ZB, 13AB, 13AD, 14, 14F, 20AAB, 23 or 24 of the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979 (HODA79)
  • Section 8 of the Tobacco Products Duty Act 1979 (TPDA79), and
  • Section 2 of the Finance (No.2) Act 1992 (F(No.2)A92).

  • The specified periods which may be covered by default notices under BGDA1981/SCH4A/PARA2 are similarly amended to

    • 4 years, or
    • 20 years in a case involving a loss of amusement machine licence duty brought about deliberately by the responsible person or by another person acting on the person’s behalf or where a responsible person has participated in a transaction knowing it was part of arrangements that were intended to bring about a loss of duty.