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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Evidence of fact: the one year rule

The time limits contained in Section 12(4) Finance Act 1994; for making assessments under Section 12(1) and 12(1A), and those contained in Finance Act 1994 section 12A(4) for assessments made under other powers; allow you to assess accounting periods up to four years old, or in some cases up to twenty years, old , as long as you make the assessment no later than one year after evidence of facts, sufficient in the opinion of HMRC to justify the making of the assessment, comes to their knowledge.

This in order to make a four year assessment or a twenty year assessment the assessing officer must make the assessment within one year of the evidence of facts.

The effective date for evidence of facts purposes should be interpreted to be the date on which the last piece of relevant evidence was communicated to HMRC in order to justify the making of the assessment they made or are going to make. Therefore the date on which HMRC obtain the necessary evidence can be critical when deciding if you are in time to make the assessment.

The words ‘sufficient’ and ‘comes to their knowledge’ are crucial in determining the time lime limits for raising an excise assessment, for further guidance on the definition of