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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Records: set up taxpayer record: introduction


To enable HMRC to provide a better service that is simple to manage, the Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT) in NIC&EO set up all new Self Assessment (SA) cases. The following forms are used to register for SA and are processed by CAAT

  • Form CWF1 for those who wish to register as self employed
  • Forms SA400 / SA401 / SA402 for those who wish to register partnerships and partners
  • Form SA1 for those who wish to register for SA who are not self employed or in business

However, due to the complexity of some SA registrations, the following business units will continue to set up their own cases in SA

  • Trust Offices
  • Expat Team within Specialist PT
  • High Net Worth Unit (formerly known as CPR offices, including Lloyds underwriters)
  • PT Operations for

    • Cases identified in day-to-day work (SAM100020)
    • Unsolicited Returns
    • Cases where there is an existing SA record which has the bankruptcy signal set. Form CWF1 should be dealt with in accordance with the instructions under section ‘Bankruptcy’ (SAM106000)

Self employed individuals and partnerships should register their business on form CWF1.

For individuals that are not self employed but wish to register for SA, they should do so using form SA1; for example a company director or an individual who is in receipt of income from land and property in the UK.

Both forms require a valid national insurance number (NINO). The application cannot be processed without the NINO.

For the small number of individuals who do not have a NINO but still require an SA record, for example foreign nationals see SAM100130 and SAM100220.

Local Authority and Parish Councils cases need to be set up in SA and are dealt with by a specialist office in Cardiff. CAAT will forward these cases to the specialist office for them to deal with.

Customers (excluding partnerships and partners) can register for Self Assessment using a variety of routes including Online Tax Registration Service (OTRS) where registration for online services is automatic, KANA, paper or through the Contact Centres.

From October 2014, those individuals registering via KANA and OTRS will be set up, or have their SA records reactivated, in SA automatically without any manual intervention. However, there will be exceptions and these will be dealt with manually.

Record types

There are four types of SA taxpayer record

  • Individual, including a partner
  • Trust
  • Partnership
  • Company


There should normally be only one SA taxpayer record for any taxpayer who self-assesses. Responsibility for that record is allocated by Revenue activity

  • Processing
  • Technical
  • Recovery (debt management)
  • Accounting

When the case is set up on SA the OUID is allocated to the case using the postcode of the taxpayer. That processing office will always have an active responsibility to maintain that record. Technical, recovery and accounting responsibilities fall to the office, with that Revenue activity, associated with the office with responsibility for processing work.

Once created, the record remains in existence either as a ‘live’ SA record or where none of the SA criteria is currently met, as a dormant record. Each taxpayer has a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), which is protected on the record. A company SA record will hold the UTR allocated to its CT Pay and File record.

View access to SA records

A view facility is available within SA. This may be used to view details of any taxpayer that has an SA record, even though responsibility for that record may not be within your office.

You should only view a taxpayer’s SA record if there is a business need to do so. 

Linking SA and PAYE records

A link may be created between a live individual SA record and a live PAYE record. This is done automatically.

While the link is in place updates to certain information will flow between the different computer systems.

Data Protection Act

The provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) apply to SA taxpayer records in the same way as they apply to taxpayer records held on other HMRC computer systems.