Partnerships: Opening an Enquiry: Effect on Partners' Individual Returns
A notice of enquiry into a partnership return is deemed to include the giving of a notice of enquiry under TMA70/S9A (1) into the return of each individual partner who
- at that time has made a return under Section 9, or
- at any subsequent time makes such a return.
The deeming provision exists mainly for the purpose of delaying finality on the partners’ self assessments (so far as this is needed) pending the outcome of partnership enquiries. It has no significance for other aspects of a partner’s own return.
It exists simply to ensure that HMRC is able to make any adjustments to the self assessments of the partners arising from any amendments to the partnership statement as a result of the enquiry into the partnership return.
In this way all the partners’ returns will remain open until the partnership enquiry is complete and the partnership statement is final.
The deeming provision does not mean that other non-partnership aspects of a partner’s own personal return are automatically under enquiry. The non-partnership aspects of a partner’s return can only be enquired into if a separate enquiry is opened. Similarly the completion of an enquiry into the partnership return, which will have the effect of finalising the partner’s partnership income, has no consequence for any separate enquiry into the other parts of the partner’s return covering non-partnership income.
An enquiry into an individual partner’s personal return under Section 9A does not automatically open up the partnership return for enquiry. Neither does it affect the position of the other partners.
It is important that the distinction between a deemed Section 9A (1) notice and an actual Section 9A (1) notice is strictly maintained, both to protect taxpayers’ rights and to ensure that the purpose of the legislation is properly followed.
The deeming provision will not affect your ability to correct non-partnership aspects of a partner’s personal return nor will it prevent the partner amending such aspects of his return, subject to the normal conditions for doing so. But the figures relating to partnership aspects of a partner’s personal return must reflect the amounts shown in the partnership statement EM7003.
Corrections and taxpayer amendments to the partnership return will be reflected in the partners’ personal returns by HMRC making the necessary amendments. The partnership return cannot be amended during the period of an enquiry and therefore partnership aspects of a partner’s personal return cannot be subject to amendment by either side during a partnership enquiry.