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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Claims Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Appendix 1: Old Error or Mistake Relief: Deliberate Choice

From 1 April 2010, it is not possible to make a claim for the old error or mistake relief for any period.  The relief is replaced by overpayment relief, see SACM12000+.  You will only need the guidance in SACM Appendix 1 if you are dealing with a claim made before 1 April 2010.

Where a deliberate choice has been made between two alternatives permitted by the Taxes Acts (such as claiming less than the full amount of capital allowances) there can be no error or mistake in the return.

The chosen alternative may not (with hindsight) prove to be to best advantage of the taxpayer but it is not incorrect. Although the assessment may be excessive, it is not excessive `by reason of some error or mistake in a return’.

Deliberate error

Similarly, no relief is admissible on the ground of a claimed error in the basis of computation of liability if

  • the return was made on a basis which, though wrong in law, had been deliberately adopted by the taxpayer and
  • it gave a result which, having regard to all the relevant circumstances of the case, was `reasonable and just’ (see, in this connection, Carrimore Six Wheelers Ltd v CIR, 1944, 26TC301).