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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Assessing: CTSA assessments: correcting a return

This subject is presented as follows.

Background
Function RAMA (Record / Amend Assessment)
Correction after recording self assessment
Time limit for notice of correction
Company can reject the correction

Background

Caseworkers can correct any obvious errors in, or omissions from a return, including the self assessment and anything else in the return that they believe is incorrect in the light of information available to them.

The process of correction does not require a judgement about the accuracy of the information in the accounts. It is about correcting an obvious error in, or an omission from, the figures in the return. The CT Online Service has validation that does not allow arithmetical errors or most other basic errors that can be corrected. However, there may be occasions on which you identify an item for correction.

If the information in the return is itself incorrect, it can only be corrected by HM Revenue & Customs through an enquiry. For more information see COM71000 onwards.

Function RAMA (Record / Amend Assessment)

A company’s self assessment is usually recorded automatically when the return is received through the CT Online Service. Where that does not happen, you must use function RAMA to record the self assessment and if appropriate, make any corrections needed to the company’s figures. You indicate in RAMA that you have made corrections and COTAX records the corrected self assessment and issues a correction notice. See COM23150 and COM23020 for more information.

Correction after recording self assessment

Recording the self assessment does not remove the power to correct obvious errors. If you find that there is such an error in a return after the self assessment has been recorded and the time limit for making corrections has not passed, you can use the ‘correct a return’ option in function RAMA to issue a correction notice.

You can do this even if the original return has already been corrected. Although it is better to correct a return only once, legislation does not limit HM Revenue & Customs to a single act of correction. However, the correction power is still limited to the correction of obvious errors or omissions on the face of the return.

HM Revenue & Customs has the same power to correct obvious errors in an amended return as it does in relation to an original return. See COM23010 for more information.

Time limit for notice of correction

You must give notice to the company of any such correction within nine months of the day when the return is delivered.

This time limit is not extended if the return is delivered early. When that happens, the time limit expires less than nine months after the filing date (Word 42KB). In an extreme case, where the company delivers its return within three months of the end of the AP, it expires before the statutory filing date.

The time limit for correcting an amended return is nine months from the date the amendment is made.

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Company can reject the correction

There is no right of appeal against a correction. However, if the company does not agree with the corrected figure, it can amend its return back to the figure it submitted, or to some other figure. That must be done within the normal time limit for amending its return, which is twelve months after the filing date. If, exceptionally, it is too late to amend its return, it has three months from the date of issue of the correction notice to formally reject the correction.

Either way, the correction then becomes of no effect and we can only pursue the point by opening an enquiry into the return.

See:

  • COM23011 for a list of forms relevant to this subject
  • COM23012 for a list of functions to use in particular situations
  • COM23013 for legislation applying to this subject.