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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Returns / notices: return handling: dealing with returns received (Action Guide)

To perform an initial check of a return on its receipt, consider steps 1 - 14 below. The guide is presented as follows.

Initial action on receipt of a return Steps 1 - 3
   
Return complete? Steps 4 - 5
Unsatisfactory returns Steps 6 - 9
Returns for liquidation or administration periods Step 10
The AP start and end dates shown on the returns differ from the period of account start and end dates shown in the accounts and computations Step 11
Amended return Step 12
Remittance received with a return Step 13
Construction Industry vouchers with a return Step 14

Initial action on receipt of a return

Online return

1. Identify cases that require manual intervention by working EFRL (E-Filed Return Work List) and AAPR (Amend AP Record Work List).
If listed on EFRL, many cases can be cleared by taking action such as amending the AP record to enable COTAX to automatically process the return. If COTAX has not processed the return the day after your manual intervention:    
     
    * take a print of the CT600 from View CT Return
    * log the return as e-filed with manual intervention, capture it and record the self assessment.

Paper return

2. Make sure that the return is stamped with the date it was received and the company is exempt from the online filing requirement or has a dispensation to deliver a paper return because of IT problems. See COM132001 for further guidance.
   
3. Prepare a return folder MS104 for each return received.

Return complete?

Online return

4. A return submitted through the Corporation Tax Online Service is normally complete because of the validation it has to pass through.
   

Paper return

5. Make sure the return meets the delivery obligation. Check that:
   
  * the company information section shows at least the company’s name and the period covered by the return
  * the declaration shows a name, not necessarily a signature
  * accounts and computations are attached if the accounts box on page 1 has been completed.
  Where more than one return is required to cover the period of the accounts, for example where the accounts cover 15 months and returns are due for 12 and three months, and you receive the accounts but only one return:
  * do not reject the return received as the obligation for that accounting period has been fulfilled
  * write to the company or agent and explain that a further return is required for the remaining period.
  Check that:
  * any relevant boxes on the return form and any supplementary pages contain numbers or amounts as appropriate and are not marked with phrases, such as ‘to follow’, ‘per computation’ or ‘not known at present’
  * the appropriate supplementary pages are enclosed as indicated on the CT600 return form
  * an entry has been made in the ‘tax payable’ box, unless there are only zero entries in the rest of the return and it can be accepted as a nil return. If there are entries elsewhere on the return, refer it to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to consider whether more entries are needed
  * an entry has been made in the ‘turnover’ part of the return. If there is no entry, refer it to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to consider whether an entry is needed
  * at least one entry has been made in the ‘capital allowances and balancing charges’ part of the return. If not, refer it to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to consider whether or not an entry is needed.

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Unsatisfactory returns

6. Examine the whole of the CT600 and attachments against the filing obligations to identify any significant errors. The majority of returns submitted online should be acceptable as they have passed the CT online validation checks. Rejecting a return is exceptional as CT Self Assessment is a ‘process now, check later’ regime.
   
7. You should only decline to process the submission if what has been received clearly does not meet the legal definition of a company tax return. In particular, you should not regard a failure to submit accounts in iXBRL format as an immediate reason for rejection.
  If you have to reject a paper return:
  * cross through the date stamp on the front of the return
  * send the return and any accompanying accounts or computations back to the company or agent with a form CT214, which is available on SEES.
8. For paper and online returns, use function NOTE (Case Notes) to say why the return has been rejected, including the following details:
  * date of receipt of the unsatisfactory return
  * date you return it
  * all of the reasons for the rejection.
9. Deal with any covering letter received with the return as normal post and note on the letter ‘Return rejected - CT214 issued on (date)’.

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Returns for liquidation or administration periods

10. If the return is in respect of a liquidation or administration period:
   
  * use function VTPR (View Taxpayer) to see if the appropriate dates are present on COTAX and if not
  * refer the return to a CT Co-ordinator.

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The AP start and end dates shown on the returns differ from the period of account start and end dates shown in the accounts and computations

11. If the AP start and end dates shown on the return or returns differ from the period of account start and end dates shown in the accounts and computations, refer the case to a CT Co-ordinator or Technical Caseworker to consider whether the:
   
  * AP structure needs to be changed with function MAPD (Maintain AP Dates)
  * filing date needs to be changed with function RDAC (Record Filing Date adjustment)
  * penalty position needs to be amended using function PPEN (Prepare Penalty Determination).

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Amended return

Companies are not obliged to submit amendments electronically. You may therefore receive a paper amendment.

12. If you receive an amended return or correspondence that amends a return, pass it to a Technical Caseworker for review.
   

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Remittance received with a return

13. See the action guide at COM90033 for guidance.
   

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Construction Industry vouchers with a return

14. Where vouchers are received with a return that has an AP start date after 5 April 2002, return the vouchers to the company with an accompanying letter and refer to the CIS manual for further information.