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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Partnerships: Discovery Provisions: Legislative Framework



There are specific discovery rules in respect of the partnership return which parallel the discovery provisions of TMA/S29 EM3250+ whereby an officer of HMRC may amend a partnership return.

Where a discovery amendment is made to a partnership return the officer may also make the corresponding amendments to the partners’ individual self assessments. So, although the legislation does not specify it, amendments to the partners’ self assessments will normally be made once the return is finalised EM7103.

The nominated partner has a right of appeal against any such discovery amendment.

The amendment to the partnership return cannot have a tax effect until it is reflected in amendments to the partners’ own self assessments, and these will not be made until the position is agreed. There is consequently no provision in the legislation for postponement of tax in respect of an appeal against a discovery amendment.

You should explain your reasons for making a discovery amendment.

There is no statutory time limit for action under TMA70/S30B itself. But HMRC’s ability to make adjustments to partners’ self assessments is to be treated as restricted by the normal time limit of 4 years after the end of the relevant tax year for making assessments, see CH52100, unless the loss arises from careless or deliberate behaviour or a notifiable avoidance scheme which the partnership has failed to disclose, see CH53000+.

Where any partner, or anyone acting on their behalf, is responsible for a loss of tax in circumstances such that the time limit is extended to 6 years or 20 years after the end of the relevant tax year, see CH53000+, you should treat the extended time limit as applying to any amendment made to that, or any other, partner’s self assessment.