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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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CT Pay and File: assessments: fastpath assessments

You will rarely need to use the following procedure that applies only to a CT Pay and File AP.

A Clerical Caseworker captures the computation of profits and tax payable in a return Form CT200 onto the COTAX record. COTAX automatically copies this to the assessing function for use in making an assessment.

You deal with most main assessments by classifying the case ‘A’ (Accept) at the screening stage using Function SRTN (Screen Return). In these cases COTAX then automatically issues an assessment using the figures provided in the return or clears the case NAR (No Assessment Required) if an assessment would only contain zeros. This is a ‘fastpath’ assessment.

COTAX automatically identifies cases that are not suitable for fastpath assessing, because the return requires some further action. It displays a warning message in Function SRTN when

  • An assessment or draft assessment already exists
  • Tax-geared penalties are due
  • The company claims a refund of SC60 tax. (Consider the checks at SC1758 before issuing an assessment)
  • There is a carry-back of ACT or losses from a later AP in the return. For more information see COM50000 onwards
  • COTAX validation has identified one or more possible errors in the figures entered on the return

In these cases COTAX cannot make a fastpath assessment. You need to make an assessment using the Functions PASR (Prepare Assessment Based On Return) or PAST (Prepare Full Assessment).

Note: When COTAX has created a fastpath assessment you cannot alter it before it is issued, or stop its issue.

For a list of forms relevant to this subject, see COM151021.

For a list of functions to use in particular situations, see COM151011.