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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Returns / notices: notices and returns: request from liquidator for copies of submitted returns

Liquidators and insolvency practitioners sometimes ask HMRC to supply copies of previously submitted returns to help them deal with the tax affairs of a company in liquidation. HMRC has a general policy of supplying only one return for this purpose.

If you receive a request, you should deal with it as follows.

  • Make sure you are satisfied that the liquidator making the request has been properly appointed.
  • Issue a copy of the last return, accounts and computations that we have received.

If the liquidator asks for more than the last return received, explain that HMRC has a general policy about providing back dated information so that we do not waste public money and resources, but that we will consider each case on its merits. To consider the case further, ask the liquidator to provide:

  • a detailed analysis with evidential support to show a substantial connection between us providing the information requested and how and what taxes we will realistically be able to recover
  • an explanation with evidential support that the liquidator has tried at least three other sources for the information requested, including Companies House, officers of the company and company employees, and why those attempts have been unsuccessful
  • details of any other extenuating circumstances.

You should consider the information provided by the liquidator and send the copies requested only if you are satisfied that:

  • the liquidator genuinely needs them and 
  • that supplying them will lead to the recovery of outstanding taxes.

You can find stock letter ‘CT Ops1 Request from liquidator’ for dealing with these requests in Excel > SEES > Forms and Letters > Local Compliance > CT Ops.