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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Introduction: Self Assessment Tax System: HMRC Powers

Self Assessment gave taxpayers new and more clearly defined obligations. It correspondingly gives HMRC more clearly defined powers to ensure compliance with those obligations.

SA is a process now/check later regime. ‘Process now’ is underpinned by firmer procedural rules for filing of returns and payment of tax. ‘Check later’ is supported by enquiry and information powers. Even if a repayment has been processed the repayment claim or the SA return may still be subject to later enquiry and amendment.

The SA rules apply to individuals, trusts and partnerships from 6 April 1996. CT Pay and File introduced ‘process now’ rules for companies for accounting periods ending on or after 31 July 1993. CTSA rules apply to companies for accounting periods ending on or after 1 July 1999.