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HMRC internal manual

International Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Double Taxation applications and claims: Repayment claims from non-residents: The key features

The key features of SA

The key features of self assessment (SA) affecting claims made to HMRC are

General points

  • the need to follow correct procedures and observe strict time limits
  • we will process the vast majority of claims without making any enquiries

Validity of claim and correcting mistakes

  • if the claimant has failed to meet the basic requirements for making a claim (for example the declaration on the claim form is not signed, information requested in a question in the claim form has not been supplied) we will return the claim form to the claimant and say what they need to do to make a valid claim
  • we are allowed to correct obvious errors or mistakes in claims without opening an enquiry but we must tell the claimant how we have amended the claim.

Further information needed - opening an enquiry

  • if you want some further information about a claim or clarification of something in a claim you will usually have to formally open an enquiry by writing to the claimant, even where claimants have appointed tax advisers to act on their behalf
  • you do not have to open an enquiry if you are obtaining information from another HMRC office or from someone not connected with the claimant
  • you cannot open an enquiry where a claimant has failed to meet the basic requirements for making a claim and so has not made a valid claim
  • we will open enquiries in those cases where we believe the risk to be greatest
  • the fact that we have paid a previous claim without enquiry does not mean that we will not open an enquiry into a subsequent claim even if the claimant’s circumstances do not appear to have changed
  • be aware of the need to liaise closely at all stages with colleagues in Business International, Outward Investment and other HMRC offices who may have an interest in the case before opening an enquiry, during an enquiry, and before we close any enquiry.

Notices and letters

  • we will send to the claimant’s tax adviser a copy of any letter or notice that we are required by law to send to the claimant
  • if the claimant has appointed a tax adviser we will send to the claimant a copy of our letter to the tax adviser requesting information
  • only one notice of enquiry into a claim is allowed

Closing an enquiry

  • when we have received all the information requested in our enquiry and obtained any necessary report from within Business International, Outward Investment or from any other HMRC office we will close our enquiry
  • when we close an enquiry we will state our conclusions and if we make an amendment to a claim we will explain to the claimant and any tax adviser the reasons for that amendment
  • if as a result of our enquiry we are not satisfied that the claimant meets the conditions required for entitlement to the repayment claimed we will amend the claim to nil
  • if we do not receive an answer to our enquiries following a reminder we will consider closing our enquiries and reducing the claim to nil.