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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Returns / notices: unlogging returns: unlogging a CTSA return

If you have a Technical Caseworker, CT Co-ordinator or Clerical Support COTAX role you can unlog a return using function URTN (Unlog Return). This should happen very rarely as you should process it unless what has been received clearly does not meet the legal definition of a company tax return. CT online validation is normally sufficient to allow you to accept a return that has been submitted electronically.

If you do reject a return, you must advise the company and any agent that you have done so. See COM130240 for more information. Examples of why might need to unlog are as follows.

  • A return has been logged for the wrong AP.
  • A return has been logged for the wrong company.
  • A liquidation date or administration start date should have been entered onto the COTAX record before logging the return.
  • A return shows an AP that does not exist, such as, a return is made for a period of 12 months but you find that there are APs of five months and seven months.

It is important that you consider the recovery, interest, enquiry, reallocation and repayment position and any signals set before you unlog a return.

When you unlog a return that was delivered electronically, COTAX removes the CT600 from the COTAX system and all trace of the following on the portal.

  • The CT600.
  • The accounts and computations.
  • Any attachments.

When rejecting an electronically delivered return, you should also consider whether you first need to log the return onto COTAX if that has not been done automatically. You need to do that so you can then use the unlogging function to purge the return from the CT portal. If you do not do that, the company cannot submit a valid return.

Although you should not routinely print copies of returns, if you intend to log and capture it onto a different AP on COTAX, you must print all parts of the return and attachments before you unlog it.

Use function NOTE (Case Notes) to say why you have unlogged the return.

In all cases where a return is unlogged, COTAX records the:

  • date of unlogging
  • person responsible for the unlogging, for audit purposes
  • reason for unlogging, selected from the list:

    • unsatisfactory
    • no such AP
    • wrong company
    • wrong AP
    • other.

COTAX takes other action when a return is unlogged depending on the processing stage the return had reached, as follows.

Return not yet captured


  • deletes the record of logging
  • deletes the date of receipt
  • deletes all trace of the CT600, accounts, computations and attachments from the CT portal
  • where it amended the AP record during the logging of the return, gives a prompt to review the AP record using Function MAPD (Maintain AP Dates)
  • where a revenue determination exists, releases for recovery any liability automatically stood over when the return was logged
  • deletes the entry on the LRLC (Returns Requiring Capture) work list
  • where a tax-related penalty has been charged and COTAX cannot deal with any amendment automatically, enters the case on the PENR (Penalties Requiring Review) work list.

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Return captured

COTAX takes all of the previous actions as required and also deletes:

  • the captured return details
  • the entry on the RSAW (Record Self Assessment) work list
  • any draft self assessment recorded.

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Self assessment recorded

COTAX takes all of the previous actions as required and also does the following.

  • Makes contra postings to reduce the self assessment charge to nil.
  • Where appropriate, reinstates the charge on a revenue determination that was issued before the self assessment was recorded.
  • Sets the automatic inhibition of reallocations and repayments.
  • Makes an entry on the LOPD (Overpayments) work list where payments received exceed the recorded liabilities for the AP.
  • Makes an entry on the QPRW (Quarterly Payer Review List) work list where the quarterly payer signal is set to ‘Yes’ for the AP.

When a return is unlogged, you must write to the company and any authorised agent to explain what you have done and why. To help determine who submitted the return, you should check the ‘submitter type’ in function DRTN (Display Return Details), which may show ‘taxpayer’ or ‘agent’. If the submitter type is ‘filing only agent’, you should write only to the company.

You must tell Debt Management or the Enforcement & Insolvency Service when you unlog a return where the LA-ENF signal is set for the AP, as the liability has been subject to enforcement proceedings.

You cannot unlog a return where the enquiry in progress signal is set. The caseworker must review it and, if unlogging is appropriate, remove the enquiry signal before you can unlog the return. For more information about unlogging a return in these circumstances see COM154040 onwards.

After unlogging a return you should use function TAXW (Taxpayer Worklist) to find and deal with any work list entries created.

Depending on your reason for unlogging the return, you may also have to use function MAPD (Maintain AP Dates) to correct the company’s AP record. For further information see COM1000 onwards.


  • COM133011 for a list of functions to use in particular situations
  • COM133021 for legislation applying to this subject.