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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Assessing: CTSA assessments: handling non-COTAX charges

Follow the guidance at COM23132 to raise non-COTAX charges.

These charges include assessments in respect of the following.

  • Paragraph 52 Schedule 18 FA 1998 - recovery of over-repayments for APs ending on or after 1 July 1999.
  • Section 252 (1) (b) ICTA 1988 - recovery of excessive tax credit payment or set-off.
  • Section 956 / 957 ITA 2007 or Schedules 13 / 16 ICTA 1988.
  • For APs ending before 1 July 1999:

    • section S419 ICTA 1988 - close company loans to participators
    • section 747 ICTA 1988 - controlled foreign companies
    • section 30 TMA 1970 - recovery of over-repayments.


  • COM23133 for a list of common non-COTAX assessment types
  • COM23013 for legislation applying to this subject.

Handling non-COTAX charges with SAFE

Until 1 November 2010, non-COTAX charges were raised using a manual assessment or amendment set and accounted for on Corporation Tax Assessing (CTA) by input into the IRIS IT system.

From 1 November 2010, all uncleared CTA charges were re-referenced and moved to SAFE. CTA charges that were cleared by 29 October 2010 were moved to a Controlled Access Folder (CAF) archive which can only be accessed by nominated staff

Only a limited number of staff have access to SAFE. To create, standover or amend charges on SAFE you need to ask your SAFE user to do it for you.

Making a new non-COTAX assessment using SEES and recording it on SAFE

You must use the SEES 310(Z) assessment set to raise or amend non-COTAX charges and your SAFE user records them on SAFE. You can get the SEES 310(Z) assessment set at Excel > SEES > Forms and Letters > under the ‘SAFE’ category.

To make a new assessment using SEES, you enter the appropriate statutory wording and particulars into the assessment set. See COM23133 for the appropriate wording to use and the relevant SAFE charge types.

You should then arrange for the charge to be raised on the SAFE system through your authorised SAFE user. SAFE automatically uses the COTAX UTR as the main reference for a company and takes the company name, Registered Office address and most signals direct from the COTAX record.

To ensure that the correct interest rules are applied to the charge you must ask your SAFE user to always include the relevant legislation under which the charge has been raised in the local reference field on the SAFE charge record. For example, an assessment made under S956/957 Income Taxes Act 2007 is shown beside the charge raised PID (PID 1234567 / S956 / 957 ITA 07).

Dealing with appeals and postponements

Non-COTAX assessments generally carry a right of appeal and postponement. For further information, see the guidance at COM10001 onwards and for general advice on appeals and postponements, see the Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance Manual (ARTG).

Postponements or informal standovers in respect of non-COTAX charges are recorded on SAFE. SAFE records postponements or standovers, using the term ‘standover’ to cover both, but it does not record any information on appeals. There is no online SAFE work list support for appeals against non-COTAX assessments.

Instead, each quarter the CT Process team (CTIS) produce a list of all standovers on the SAFE system. They issue the lists to the responsible offices in January, April, July and October and case owners must update the list and return it to the CT Process team within two months of its issue. See COM10120 for guidance on how to actively manage these cases.

The list does not include cases where there has been no postponement or standover of the tax or penalty charge. It is therefore important that appeals against non-COTAX charges where there is no postponement or standover are effectively managed by caseworkers and their managers.

You can use the SEES form 64-4(Ack/Post) to acknowledge appeals and postponement applications for non-COTAX assessments. This appeal form is not CT specific and can be used for dealing with other appeals which cannot be handled in COTAX.

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Amending charges

If you need to amend a non-COTAX assessment following receipt of an appeal, you use the SEES assessment/amendment set to make the amendment. However, the accounting and collection action depends on whether the charge is held on SAFE or is in the CAF archive.

Before preparing an amendment you should check with your SAFE user to see if the charge is recorded on SAFE and if so, how much of the charge has been paid. The action guide at COM23132 explains what you need to do.

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Working with archived charges

Nominated staff have access to the central CAF of archived charges to check dates of payments and so on before amending charges. The action guide at COM23132 tells you how to reduce or increase an archived charge.

SAFE users must not make any repayments in respect of archived charges. These must be referred to the DMB Miscellaneous Charges Unit in Shipley by completing the appropriate SAFE repayment stencil (SAFE 1) / SAFE charge amendment stencil (SAFE 2). DMB Miscellaneous Charges Unit then make the repayment.

See COM23131 for a list of forms to use in particular situations.