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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Reopening Earlier Years: Assessments: Onus of Proof for ETL assessments

If you have made an extended time limit assessment (ETL) it is because there has been a loss of tax as a result of behaviour that is

  • Fraudulent
  • Deliberate
  • Negligent, or
  • Careless.

If the tribunal is considering an appeal against an ETL assessment it is for you to demonstrate that the alleged behaviour is sufficiently serious to support the assessment. For example you may not need to allege deliberate behaviour where carless behaviour is sufficient. You should, however, in an appropriate case, make it clear that you are alleging that there has been at least careless behaviour and that you are not asking the tribunal to register a finding that there has been careless behaviour and no more.

Once you have done this satisfactorily, the onus will normally revert to the taxpayer if he or she is seeking a reduction in the amount of the assessment.