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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Returns / notices: return handling: logging - logging and capturing paper returns (Action Guide)

To log a paper return that you have accepted because of religious objections or a dispensation has been given because of IT problems, consider steps 1 - 23 below. The guide is presented as follows.

Initial action Step 1
Log the return Steps 2 - 3
Complete relevant fields Steps 4 - 6
‘About this return’ data to capture Step 7
Do you wish to capture return details? Step 8
Capture return Steps 9 - 11
Amend / confirm return details Steps 12 - 14
Disclosable tax avoidance schemes Steps 15 - 16
Return contains bank and / or nominee details for repayments Steps 17 - 20
Record self assessment Steps 21 - 22
Completing the MS104 (CTSA) folder Step 23
Final action Step 24

Initial action

1.  If you have been told that the company is exception to mandatory online filing on religious grounds, use function ACTP (Amend Taxpayer Details) to set the ‘e-filed exception’ signal to ‘Y’.

Log the return

2.  Use function LRTN (Log Return) to record receipt of the return.

3.  If the period covered by the return does not appear on the list of APs on the LRTN screen:

  • change the entry in the ‘Has a return been received for an AP not matching any entry on list?’ field to ‘Y’ and select the [OK] button
  • where the AP record is updated and you are able to proceed with logging, enter today’s date in the ‘logged’ and ‘logged AP changed’ boxes and note the advisory message number on the MS104 (CTSA). See COM132054 for more information on advisory messages
  • where you cannot update the AP and proceed, enter today’s date in the ‘cannot log (AP change)’ box on the MS104 (CTSA) and pass the case to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to change the AP record using function MAPD (Maintain AP Dates).

If the period covered by the return is in the list of APs on the LRTN screen, select it and then select the [OK] button.

Complete relevant fields

4.  The ‘date return received’ field is pre-filled with today’s date. Check it against the date of receipt stamped on the return and amend it if necessary.

5.  If the AP start date is after 31 March 2015, the ‘version’ field defaults to ‘3’ and if the AP starts before that date, you should change it to ‘2’.

6.  Add the ‘company type’ if it is on the return and there is no entry on the screen, or amend it if necessary.

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‘About this return’ data to capture

7.  The ‘about this return’ section of a return may have entries for the following items:

  • repayment for this period
  • claim or relief for an earlier period
  • more than one return being made now
  • return includes estimates
  • company is part of a group that is not small
  • notice of disclosable avoidance schemes
  • transfer pricing compensating adjustment
  • transfer pricing SME exemption.

If there are entries for any of these items, select ‘Y’ in the drop down menu for the appropriate field.

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Do you wish to capture return details?

8.  Leave the default setting of ‘Y’ and proceed with capture.

Where there is more than one return to be captured, always capture them in ascending AP order and record the self assessments at the end of capture.

Refer the case to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker if necessary.

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Capture return

9.  If you have used LRTN and indicated that you want to capture the details, COTAX takes you to the capture screen.

10.  Capture the details exactly as shown in the return. Do not alter an entry even if it is clearly wrong unless a box entry requires one of the following.

  • A decimal number where a whole number has been entered on the return. Enter ‘.00’.
  • A whole number where a decimal has been entered on the return. Round the decimal figure in the company’s favour.
  • A financial year entry.
  1. If there is no entry in the ‘self assessment of tax payable’ box and only zero entries elsewhere, the return can be accepted as a nil return. However, if there are figures other than zero elsewhere on the return, refer it to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to consider whether more entries are needed.

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Amend / confirm return details

  1. If COTAX presents you with a list of entries for confirmation or amendment, check each entry against the relevant box on the return.

  2. If there is a missing box that is mandatory or an entry that does not comply with the relevant validation rules, complete or amend it.

  3. If an entry on the screen is different to the figure shown in the return, correct it.

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Disclosable tax avoidance schemes

  1. COTAX displays screen COT112H for you to enter details entered on the CT600J disclosable tax avoidance schemes if you selected ‘Y’ for that field in function LRTN. Enter the relevant details exactly as shown on the CT600J.

  2. If COTAX does not display the screen, capture the rest of the return and pass the return to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to enter the tax avoidance scheme entries in function MAPS (Maintain AP Signals).

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Return contains bank and / or nominee details for repayments

  1. If there are entries in ‘payments to a person other than the company’ on the return, If it is, capture the details accurately.

  2. If it is not complete:

  • use the [Exit] button to abandon the function
  • pass the return to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker, asking how to proceed.
  1. If there are correct and complete entries in the ‘bank details’ section, capture the details accurately.

If the account name on the return is more than 28 characters in length, enter the first 28 characters if that gives a recognisable account name, or a suitable abbreviation.

  1. If the bank details are not completed properly:
  • use the [Exit] button to abandon the function
  • pass the return to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker, asking how to proceed.

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Record self assessment

  1. Make the appropriate selection from the three choices available on the final screen.

Do you wish to record self assessment now?

Do not change ‘Y’ to ‘N’.

Where there were unresolved validation failures during capture, this defaults to ‘N’.

Whenever COTAX will allow it, change ‘N’ to ‘Y’.

If you do not record the self assessment where COTAX allows you to, using function RAMA later may mean a correction notice for a trivial amount has to be issued, which may lead to complaints.

Do you wish to issue an acknowledgement?

Do not ask COTAX to issue an acknowledgement as the CT620ACK form no longer exists. Companies can use their digital tax account to see whether their self assessment has been recorded.

Do you wish to issue a correction notice?

Issue a correction notice only where you have changed figures from the return and a Technical Caseworker has told you to do so.

  1. If COTAX displays an ‘overpayment warning’ message, it indicates that COTAX has made a repayment or reallocation. Follow local management instructions.

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Completing the MS104 (CTSA) folder

  1. When you have captured the return, make the following entries on the front of the accounts folder:
  • ‘Captured’ if you have captured the return without validation failures
  • ‘Validation failure’ if COTAX displayed validation failures and you confirmed the entries as correct
  • ‘SA recorded at capture’ if you recorded the self assessment at the end of capturing the return.

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Final action

  1. If there is a discrepancy between the self assessment figure captured using CRTN and the figure calculated by COTAX, the case is listed on SADL (Self Assessment Discrepancy List). A CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker only considers issuing a correction if the case appears on that list.