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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Claims Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Making Enquiries into Claims: Time Limits

In a Return

The normal time limit for opening an enquiry under Section 9A or Section 12AC is twelve months from the statutory filing date pertaining to the return in question.

The time allowed for opening an enquiry under Section 9A or Section 12AC is extended if the return is filed after the statutory filing date.

Whenever a tax return is amended by the taxpayer, a new period for potential HMRC enquiries begins and the time limit is set by section 9A (2)(c). An enquiry may be made up to and including the quarter day next following the first anniversary of the day on which the amendment was made.

So, if a claim within a return is amended, enquiries may be made but are normally limited to the area of the return that was amended. There are occasions when the amendment is so fundamental to the return, that a number of entries are adjusted as a result of the amendment. If that is so, the whole of the return may be considered for enquiry.

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Outside a Return

Where the enquiry is opened under paragraph 5, the time limit is the later of:

  • The quarter date next following the first anniversary of the day on which the claim or amended claim was made.
  • Where the claim relates to a year of assessment, the first anniversary of the 31 January next following that year.
  • Where the claim relates to a period other than a year of assessment, the first anniversary of the end of that period.