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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Reopening Earlier Years: Assessments: Review of Working Cases

Each year you should review all your working enquiry cases to identify those where assessments need to be made, for periods where we don’t have an open enquiry well before the relevant time limit expires. It is recommended that you carry out the review no later than three months before the deadline date.

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

SA Years

When making these reviews you will need to consider cases

  • where the taxpayer is known to be aged or seriously ill, remembering that in the case of a deceased person our right to assess is limited by TMA70/S40 (1) and (2)
  • where there is undue delay on the part of the taxpayer or the agent.
  • where there is evidence of liability which is not covered by existing assessments and a settlement is not likely to be reached by the latest date on which assessments can be made, normally

    • within three years from 31 January next following the year of assessment in which the taxpayer died (TMA70/S40 (2) )
    • for income tax years 1996-97 onwards - four years after the end of the year of assessment (TMA70/S34)
    • that time limit is extended to the period of 6 years after the end of the year of assessment where careless behaviour is involved (TMA70/S36(1) ).
    • that time limit is extended to the period of 20 years after the end of the year of assessment where deliberate behaviour or a failure to notify liability under TMA1970/S7 is involved (TMA70/S36(1A) ).

CTSA Years

A similar approach should be applied in company enquiries except that a rolling programme of quarterly reviews should take place. You should consider both Corporation Tax and CTA10/S455 liabilities.