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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Opening the Enquiry: Statute: Single Enquiry




FA98/SCH18/PARA 24(5)

FA98/SCH18/PARA 88

A return or amendment or claim can only be enquired into once. Some enquiries into returns (or amendments) will be completed before the expiry of the enquiry period and some will take longer. But even where an enquiry is completed within the enquiry period, it will not be possible to open another enquiry into that return or an amendment.

You can only take further action in relation to the return or amendment for a year when

  • an enquiry has already been closed, or
  • the enquiry window has closed

if the taxpayer has carelessly or deliberately caused a loss of tax or has failed to disclose some information that you might have needed to understand how his or her liability was calculated. The discovery rules apply EM3250+.

FA98/Sch18/Para88 restricts the circumstances in which a CTSA enquiry can be made. The intention is to prevent enquiries being made into amounts which have become final (either following an enquiry or by the passage of time) for earlier years, and which are carried forward to a later year. It would be unfair if, having properly achieved finality in respect of these amounts, the company were to be exposed to the possibility of an enquiry simply because they were repeated in a later year’s return. You should not therefore make enquiries into items which merely repeat amounts which have featured in earlier returns.

It follows that every enquiry case should have a case owner and that the case owner involves other offices that may have an interest in the return EM1535.