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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Reopening Earlier Years: Discovery in SA Years: SA Time Limits for Deceased Persons

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 for deceased persons made on or after 1 April 2010 see CH54200.

TMA70/S40

TMA70/S74(1)

No assessment in respect of the income or gains which arose to a deceased person during his or her lifetime could be made later than three years from 31 January next following the year of assessment in which he or she died.

Extended time limit assessments on the personal representatives of a deceased person for the purpose of making good to the Crown a loss of tax or NIC due to fraudulent or negligent conduct could only be made within the time limit allowed, for any year ending not earlier than six years before his or her death.

Example 1

If a taxpayer died on 15 May 2003 all assessments had to be made by 30 January 2008. On that date assessments could be made for years 2001/2002 to 2003/2004 under Section 40(1) and for years 1997/98 to 2000/2001 under Section 40(2).

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Example 2

If a taxpayer died on 15 February 2003 all assessments had to be made by 30 January 2007. On that date assessments could be made for years 2000/2001 to 2002/2003 under Section 40(1) and for years 1996/1997 to 1999/2000 under Section 40(2).

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Example 3

If a taxpayer died on 15 January 2003 the assessing time limit and the assessments that could have been made would be the same as in Example 2.

Unless the deceased was a director of a company EM8740 there is normally no point in seeking to ascertain a loss of tax for any year of assessment that you can no longer assess unless the personal representatives are prepared to make voluntary restitution EM3980.

Any assessments in respect of the income or gains which arose to a deceased person during his or her lifetime should be made on his or her personal representatives, who should be named in the assessment. Where an Inheritance Tax fraud is discovered you should make a report to IHT.