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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Accounting periods: company accounting periods: company winding up


An AP ends and a new one begins when a company starts to be wound up. After that an AP ends only at the expiry of 12 months from its beginning or the completion of the winding up.

Section 12 (7) ICTA 1988 contains the rules defining the start date of a winding up.

In any AP after a winding up commences, you may record a self assessment before the end of the AP.

You should agree the likely completion date of the winding up with the liquidator, then use Function MAPD (Maintain AP Dates) to amend the AP record to:

  • reflect the revised AP
  • set up subsequent APs of 12 months, or a period of dormancy if appropriate.

If the winding up is not completed by the assumed date, then the AP should end on that assumed date and a new one should begin on the following day.

After that, APs should end at the earlier of the expiry of 12 months from the beginning of the AP or the completion of the winding up.

These procedures are allowed to apply by Schedule 24 FA 1996.

The Company Taxation Manual (CTM) at CTM36105 onwards contains general instructions on company winding up.

Automatic AP changes and caseworker review

When a company goes into liquidation, COTAX is notified by Companies House and enters the case on the Case Records Changes List (CRCL). The details of the liquidation are not entered onto COTAX automatically and the case has to be reviewed by a case worker. You can find the details of the liquidation at either Companies House or the Scottish Register of Bankruptcies. The appointed liquidator may also tell you that the company has gone into liquidation.

You must use function ACTP (Amend CT Payer Details) to enter the liquidation date onto the record. COTAX normally:

  • automatically supersedes the AP into which the liquidation date falls, creating an AP ending on the day before that date
  • supersedes all later APs, creating new 12 month APs from the liquidation date, up to and including an AP ending after the session date.

If a date of liquidation is changed in ACTP and COTAX identifies that the AP record needs to be reviewed, it displays screen COT102D to prompt the Clerical Caseworker to print the screen and pass the case to a Technical Caseworker. The screen print tells you why a review is necessary. You should carry out the review and make any necessary changes to the AP record using Function MAPD (Maintain AP dates).

If you are notified of a liquidation date that is earlier than an administration start date already on the record, COTAX does not allow you to enter the liquidation date. You must use function ACTP to:

  • delete the administration start date
  • enter the liquidation date and type of liquidation
  • re-enter the administration start date
  • pass the papers to a Technical Caseworker with a print of screen COT102D for a review of the AP record.

See COM1020 for further information on administration.

You must not use function MAPD instead of ACTP to revise a company’s AP structure because of a liquidation date. If you do, COTAX will not later allow you to enter a liquidation date using ACTP if there is a return logged on any AP ending after the liquidation date. If you find a case in this condition you must:

  • use function URTN (Unlog Return) to unlog the return, following the guidance at COM133000 onwards
  • use function ACTP to enter the liquidation date and type of liquidation
  • use function LRTN (Log Return) to relog and capture the return.

When a winding up is completed, a data feed from Companies House sends the struck off date to COTAX. The date is automatically entered on the record, the AP structure amended where possible and the case is put onto CRCL (Case Records Changes List) for review. If COTAX is unable to make the change to the AP structure automatically, it puts the case onto work list AAPR (Amend AP Record) for review.

If the struck off date falls after or within a period of dormancy, COTAX extends or contracts the period of dormancy as appropriate, to end on the struck off date.

If the struck off date falls after the end of the last live AP, COTAX creates live APs from the day after the last AP up to the struck off date.

If the struck off date falls within an AP, the AP is automatically superseded and replaced with a new live AP from the start of the superseded AP to the struck off date.


  • COM1021 for a list of functions to use in particular situations
  • COM1022 for legislation applying to this subject.