Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Opening the Enquiry: Statute: CTSA Time Limits - Approach in different business units

EM1514 explains that

  • You should aim to open enquiries into the return of a company that is a member of a group that is not small within 12 months of the date of receipt of the last return from any company within the group, but
  • If you do not meet that aim you still have until 12 months after the statutory filing date to open an enquiry.

Your approach to this aim will vary depending on which business unit you are in.

Large Business Service

Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) should seek to agree a timetable with the group tax manager for compliance assurance activities. As part of that exercise, they should seek to agree a timetable for delivery the group’s returns, the handling of any risks identified and the opening of any formal enquiries. Where it is practical to do so, CRMs should seek to agree a timetable that meets the group anniversary target.

Local Compliance - Large and Complex work stream

  • Where a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is in place

CRMs should agree with the group a timetable for the delivery of the group’s returns, the handling of any risks identified and the opening of any formal enquiries. Where it is practical to do so, CRM’s should seek to agree a timetable that meets the group anniversary target.

Where the group’s affairs are dealt with in more than one location, or it would help for other reasons, CRM’s should discuss with the group whether it will aim to deliver its returns significantly before the statutory filing date. Where this is the case, they should ask the group to write to the CRM when the last group member’s return is delivered, on the lines of the letter in EM1516. Unless there are over-riding reasons not to do so, the CRM should agree to open any enquiries into the relevant company tax returns within the group anniversary target.

  • Where a Customer Co-ordinator (CC) is in place

The CC should liaise with the CT Tax Specialist (CT TS) with a view to facilitating meeting the group anniversary target wherever possible. The CT TS should discuss with the group whether it aims to deliver its returns significantly before the statutory filing date. Where this is the case, the CT TS should ask the group to write them when the last group member’s return is delivered, on the lines of the letter in EM1516. Unless there are overriding reasons not to do so, the CT TS should agree that HMRC will open any enquiries into the relevant company tax returns within the group anniversary target. The CT TS will need to ensure that all the CT TSs and the CC dealing with group members are aware of the commitment and that it is recorded for future reference.

Local Compliance - outside the Large and Complex work stream

It is unlikely that we can offer to meet the group anniversary target for the foreseeable future.

All cases where you agree a group anniversary target

We should be clear that the group anniversary target is an operational practise, not a legal requirement. HMRC reserve the right to fall back on the statutory time limit.

On the other hand, it is important that you honour any agreed timetable and are seen to provide the necessary degree of assurance to encourage larger groups to file early where they can. An agreement cannot fetter our legal powers, but you should make every effort to meet the group anniversary target where you have agreed to do so. It should only be necessary to open enquiries after that where the group fails to honour any agreed conditions, or where material new information comes to light that was not available when the original agreement was reached.

For groups where no agreement is made to meet the group anniversary target, the statutory position will apply.