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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Claims Manual

Overpayment relief: Special relief: Condition C - Subsequent claims

An outline of special relief is at SACM12220. This page covers the last of three further conditions for reliefs introduced at SACM12230.

Condition C for special relief is that the person has not previously claimed special relief or sought the former equitable liability concession. It does not matter whether the claims succeeded.

The self assessment process places the onus on a person to assess and pay over the sums due for any year. Time limits are designed to ensure that a person’s affairs are finalised within a reasonable period.

Special relief is available beyond normal time limits to provide a safety valve for those people who have exceptional difficulties in coping with the tax system, so that they can bring their affairs up to date once and for all. This relief provides a final opportunity for those people to get their tax affairs in order and to become compliant.

Once a person has sought special relief or equitable liability, there should be little reason, even for those who have found it particularly difficult to deal with their tax obligations, not to be aware of the need to keep their affairs in order (either by themselves or with support). It would be unfair to the majority of people who comply with their obligations for this relief to be given to the same person on a subsequent claim.

HMRC expects that this condition will normally be strictly applied and that while the rules allow for exceptions, these will be very rare and justified only by the particular exceptional circumstances of the case.

EIS is responsible for deciding whether a claim to special relief can be accepted and in particular whether conditions A, B and C are met. Tax Administration Policy (TAP) are responsible for considering whether claims should be allowed in spite of failing to meet condition C.