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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Reopening Earlier Years: Discovery in SA Years: SA Time Limits

The normal and extended assessment time limits changed on 1 April 2010. The guidance below applies to assessments made before that date. For guidance on the time limits that apply to all assessments made on or after 1 April 2010 see CH53000+.

TMA70/S34(1)

TMA70/S36(1)

Normal Time Limits

Where there was incomplete disclosure without fraudulent or negligent conduct, the time limit for making a discovery assessment on an individual was five years from 31 January next following the tax year to which it relates.

Thus the time limit for an individual for 1996/97 was 31 January 2003.

The time limit for recovery of an overpayment was the later of

  • the year of assessment following that in which the amount assessed was repaid or paid as the case may be, and
  • where a return was enquired into by HMRC, the period ending with the day on which, but virtue of Section 28A(1), the officer’s enquiries were treated as completed.

Extended Time Limits

Where there was fraudulent or negligent conduct the time limit for making a discovery assessment was extended for an individual to 20 years from 31 January next following the tax year to which it relates. See EM3340+ for operational procedures.