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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Penalties: Failure to Notify Chargeability: Pre-SA Years

TMA70/S7 (very old - repealed by FA89)

TMA70/S7 (old - repealed by FA94)




Years to 1987/88 and Accounting Periods ending before 1 April 1989

Any person who was chargeable to tax for any year of assessment (or accounting period) but had not made a return for that year (or period) had to give notice within 12 months from the end of that year or accounting period.

It was then for the Revenue to issue return forms to follow up the taxpayer’s notification.

The fixed rate penalty is now time barred.

Later Years to 1994/95 and Accounting Periods ending before 1 July 1999

Every person is under an obligation to give notice to the Inspector within one year of the end of that year or period if they

  • are chargeable to tax for any year or period
  • have not made a return of their profits for that period, and
  • have not received a notice requiring such a return.

For income tax each separate source of income has to be specified and no notice is required in respect of any source wholly taken into account (including by way of a coding adjustment) in the PAYE deductions, fully assessed, or otherwise taken into account or producing only taxed income, provided the taxpayer is liable to tax at only the basic rate. Income received under the subcontractor’s legislation is not excluded.


If a person, for any year of assessment, fails to comply, they shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding the amount of the tax for which they are liable under assessments made more than 12 months after the end of that year of assessment.

For CTPF accounting periods ending before 1 July 1999 the penalty is the same as for CTSA periods EM4551.

The taxpayer can avoid any penalty if they can show that they have a reasonable excuse for their failure EM5150+.


Except in Scotland, an assessment on a partnership is an assessment on the partners who are all chargeable and all are under the general obligation to notify chargeability. Each partner commits an offence if they fail to notify their own chargeability, which includes the partnership liability. If any difficulty in this respect arises in Scotland, you should seek advice, see contact link, before pressing a claim to penalties in respect of the individual partners.