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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: set up taxpayer record: names

The SA record may hold the following names

  • Taxpayer name
  • Business name (one for each trade)
  • Capacity name (one for each capacity)

Asterisks in name

When entering a business or capacity name on the SA record you must enter at least 2 and no more than 3 asterisks, as follows

  • The first asterisk after any title and before any initials
  • The second asterisk after any initials and before the (sur)name
  • The third asterisk after the (sur)name and before any honours

The first and second asterisks may therefore be adjacent.


To ensure consistency with records set up at the commencement of SA, all new or amended Taxpayer, Business, and Capacity names should be entered in CAPITALS.

Long name

Where the taxpayer’s name is too long to be held in full on the SA system, you will have to abbreviate the name. That abbreviation will appear on printed output. There is no provision to issue correspondence manually using the full, unabbreviated, form of the name. You may therefore want to agree the abbreviation with the taxpayer.

‘Known as’ names

We are legally bound to accept ‘known as’ names if it is the individual’s wish to use another name, regardless of whether the name has been changed by deed poll. If you receive a request from an individual to use a ‘known as’ name, it must be accepted and used consistently throughout all systems. You must ensure that both TBS and SA show the same name. Once a ‘known as’ name is used, you must ensure that subsequent records are not set up in SA using the customers original name. This will lead to a mixed record scenario.

You must make an SA Note to indicate that a ‘known as’ name is being used.