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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Case records: new company records: receipt of S55 FA 2004 information (Action Guide)

On receipt of S55 FA 2004 information consider steps 1 - 18 below. The guide is presented as follows.

Action Steps
Initial action Step 1 - 5
Update the COTAX record Steps 6 - 10
Company is a charity Steps 11 - 12
CT61 return Step 13
Principal place of business Step 14
Further action Step 15
Existing business taken over Step 16
Final action Step 17

Initial action

1.  If the information has been provided in a Companies House mailbox, go to step 2. If you are working the SAP OTRS work list go to step 3. If you are working from a letter, go to step 4.

2.  Use function TRCT (Trace Taxpayer) to find the COTAX record using the Company Registration Number, then go to step 4.

3.  Decide which case you are going to work, select the grey square to the left of the entry and use the [Assign To Me] button.

4.  Enter the UTR in COTAX. Check that you have the correct record by using the ‘view company details’ option in function VTPR (View Taxpayer) to make sure the CRN and name of the company agree with the details provided.

If the details agree, go to step 6.

If you cannot verify that the form has been received for the correct company go to step 5.

5.  Contact the submitter using the telephone number provided on the form to verify the details submitted and establish the correct UTR, CRN and company name.

If you are satisfied that you now have the correct information go to step 6.

Where you cannot verify the information, reject the OTRS submission by selecting ‘No’ for the ‘CT process completed’ field in the ‘Admin use only’ section of the form bundle. You also need to select the ‘Details’ tab and select ‘Rejected’ for the ‘User status’ field. You should then select ‘save’ to change the status of the form bundle.

It is important to reject the submission to prevent an incorrect Corporation Tax Online Service activation PIN being issued to the wrong company. The rejection also generates an email to the submitter advising them that the registration form has not been accepted.

Update the COTAX record

6.  If you have been given the date of incorporation and it does not agree with the one on the COTAX record, check the Companies House website. Note: OTRS does not ask for this date.

  • If the date of incorporation at Companies House is the same as that on COTAX do not change the COTAX record.
  • If the date of incorporation at Companies House is different, use function ACTP (Amend CT Payer Details) to amend the COTAX record so they are the same. Always use the Companies House date and not that provided by the company.

7.  If the company name is too long for COTAX, use function ACNA (Amend Company Name / Address) to amend the name to the abbreviated name provided by the company.

If the abbreviated name supplied by the company is not suitable, contact them to agree an alternative. Use an abbreviation that meets, as far as possible, any objections raised by the company and avoids confusion with any similarly named company, such as a company in a group with the same Registered Office address.

8.  If the company has provided contact telephone numbers and email address, use function ACNA (Amend Company Name / Address) to record them.

  1. Use function ACTP (Amend CT Payer Details) to record or amend the following details as supplied.
  • Date the business started, shown as company active date on the OTRS form.
  • The first accounting date, shown as accounts preparation date.
  • Parent company reference. If the parent company name is shown but not the UTR, use function TRCT (Trace Company) to find it.
  • Use function TRCA (Transfer Case) to transfer the COTAX record to the parent responsible office and issue a transfer notice to the company. If the parent company is in a Large & Complex office you should also advise the customer owner that you have transferred the case to them.


If the company has provided a future date on OTRS that COTAX cannot accept:

  • transfer the work item into the relevant folder on the SAP OTRS work list
  • use the OTRS note facility to indicate what further action is required when the future date is reached, remembering to include the date and your PID and use the [Save] button
  • do not mark the work item as complete
  • copy and paste the details into the Local CAF for Assistant Officers.

If the company has provided incorrect information, such as a commenced trading date that is before the date of incorporation, simply ignore it. If the date accounts made up date does not make sense, leave that field blank. COTAX has already set up APs based on the date of incorporation and they should be left as they are in the absence of accurate information.

  1. Use function ACTP to change the ‘S55 Satisfied’ signal to ‘Y’.

Always accept the information that has been supplied and do not ask the company for further details before setting the ‘S55 Satisfied’ signal to ‘Y’.

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Company is a charity

  1. If the company has indicated that it is a charity, update the COTAX record with the S55 information provided.

  2. Use function TRCA (Transfer Case(s)) to transfer ownership of the COTAX record to:

  • office identity 292200 if the charity is resident in England or Wales
  • office identity 297800 if the charity is resident in Scotland
  • office identity 297801 if the charity is resident in Northern Ireland.

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CT61 return

  1. Where the company has indicated that it is likely to make CT61 returns, complete the SAFE CT61 SEES stencil and pass it to your SAFE user to set the case up for you. See COM23135 for further guidance.

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Principal place of business

  1. If the company has provided a principal place of business (PPB) address, and the address is different from the Registered Office address, use function ACOM (Amend Communication Details) to enter the company name and PPB address.

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Further action

15. If the period between the date business started and the intended first accounting date is over 12 months or the AP start date is in the future, copy and paste the details into the local CAF for Assistant Officers.

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Existing business taken over

  1. If the S55 information shows that an existing business has been taken over, tell the office responsible for that business about the take-over and quote the UTR of the new company.

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Final action

  1. If you are working from a Companies House mailbox list, delete the entry.

If you are working from the SAP OTRS work list, show the work item as complete.

If you are working from a letter, batch it and note the COTAX record accordingly.