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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Claims Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Unsuccessful Attempts to make a Claim or Election: Late Claims - Enquiry Into

Claims made outside a return

Where a customer makes a claim outside the statutory time limit and we do not accept it, the Taxes Acts do not apply to that claim, as it is invalid.

So where the general time limit at TMA70/S43 applies, something received after that time limit is not a claim, as one can no longer be made. This means that

  • the purported claim is not a claim as far as the Taxes Acts are concerned and
  • the legislation that normally applies to claims does not apply.

Consequently, a late claim cannot be enquired into under TMA70/SCH1A/PARA5.

If we do admit a late claim or election, the enquiry window will run as normal from the date the claim was made and you can open an enquiry as necessary.

Claims made in a return

If a late claim is included in a return (perhaps because the return is delivered late) then you can

  • correct the return, and
  • exclude the claim as it is an obvious error.

If the correction is rejected you will probably need to open an enquiry into the return to challenge the claim. This is because the attempted claim has been included in a valid return.

If the return is so late it that does not create a self-assessment then you

  • do not need to correct the return, or
  • open an enquiry.

To create a self-assessment a return generally has to be delivered no later than 4 years after the end of the year of assessment (TMA70/S34(1)) although where a determination has been made the time limit is longer in certain circumstances (TMA70/S28C(5) - see EM2027).

Where there is no self-assessment the claim will not give rise to a repayment or reduction in tax automatically even though there is no enquiry (TMA70/S59B(1)). These cases can be dealt with in the same way as late claims made outside returns - see above.

If following the receipt of a late return you are considering making a discovery assessment (under TMA70/S29 and TMA70/S36). See EM3905 for the circumstances in which the taxpayer will be able to make a late claim.

In certain circumstances the legislation allows a taxpayer to take various out-of-time actions (including making claims) where we

  • make a discovery assessment, or
  • amend a return in an SA enquiry closure notice.

This may mean that it would be ineffective to open an SA enquiry into a return to challenge a late claim in the return EM3905. Where this is the case an enquiry should only be opened if other entries in the return are also to be considered.

The question of consequential claims following assessment or the amendment of a self-assessment is covered in more detail at SACM9025.