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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Assessment time limits: what are the time limits for excise assessments

Generally, there are two time limits to consider before making an assessment. They are

  • the four year rule, and
  • the one year rule.

Each of the limits determines a date by which the assessment must be made. For guidance on when an assessment is ‘made’ see EAIG15300 

There is also a third time limit, the twenty year rule, which applies in cases involving deliberate behaviour giving rise to a penalty, failure to notify and wrongdoing. These cases are described in more detail at EAIG10400.