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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Case records: new company records: receipt of S55 FA 2004 information

Most companies are likely to supply the information required under S55 FA 2004 using the Online Tax Registration Service (OTRS), although they may advise us when registering at Companies House or by letter. See COM40030 for guidance on the information they have to supply.

The details supplied through OTRS appear on a SAP work list in the responsible office. You should note that the work list includes submissions by new companies and companies coming back within the charge to CT after being treated as dormant.

There is an action guide at COM40074 for dealing with S55 information received. This panel includes information that users and managers may find useful.

Accessing the OTRS SAP work list

You can access the work list through My Services > Global Services > SAP Services. You will see it in the Workplace tab.

Validation of the information supplied

A company has to register for OTRS and receives credentials that allow them to use the portal. However, when they complete their details in OTRS, they are not validated against COTAX.

It is therefore very important to confirm that the UTR they supply matches the company name given. The office numeral is also entered by the company and it is possible that there may be an error in the numeral given. If the numeral is not valid, the case appears on the work list in a nominated office.

Validation of other fields in OTRS is considered sufficient to satisfy the requirements of S55 FA 2004. You should not therefore contact the company for further information before setting the ‘S55 Satisfied’ signal to ‘Y’.

When cases appear on the work list

The information supplied on OTRS goes initially through an application called Decision Service. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) The information is then sent on to populate the SAP OTRS work list that has the title ‘Tax Officer’ in your SAP services.

It is important to remember that cases appear in real time, so fresh cases appear on the work list as you are working it. You must therefore refresh the list regularly.

Refreshing the work list

A further reason for refreshing the work list is that two users are able to access an entry at the same time. If this happens, it is not immediately obvious as error messages are quite small and appear only at the top of the screen. You may only find out that it has happened when you cannot access the COTAX record because the other user is already updating the record, or you cannot update the work item to show it as completed because the other user has ownership of the item.

There is a small symbol to the right of the [Refresh] button that you can use to personalise the screen. We suggest you set it to refresh automatically every minute.

In addition, you should select an item by clicking on the grey square to the left of the item and using the [Assign To Me] button. This allows other users to see that it is assigned.

It may be easier to assign a block of up to ten entries to yourself. If you are unable to work them all, you can unassign them later.

You must also regularly use the [Save] button.

Scroll bars

You should note that there are two scroll bars on the screen when you are viewing a work item. To see all of the information that has been submitted, you may need to use both of them.

Information displayed

Some fields are only shown if the company has indicated that they are relevant. For example, if a company has not taken over another business, none of the fields relating to business takeover are shown.

A company may contact you to ask whether the information they submitted has been processed. If possible, ask them for the acknowledgement reference they received when they completed the form as that is the easiest item to use for a search.

Whatever item you use for a search, you need to complete both the fields with the same entry, for example UTR from 1234567890 to 1234567890.

Adding a note

You usually make a note if you need to return to the form at a later date. You must remember to add the date and your PID to any note you make and to use the [Save] button.

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Managing the SAP work list

If, as a manager, you want to know what work is outstanding, you can use the quality assurance report facility. You must enter start and end dates and then click on the end column and use the [SUM] button to see the total.

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Using the information supplied

However the company supplies the required information, you should update the record with the details supplied. Follow the COM40074 action guide.