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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: set up taxpayer record: set up individual record

Before setting up the taxpayer record for an individual (including a partner), you have to obtain the information that is required for the SA computer record. This is normally from the completed form CWF1, SA401, SA402 or SA1. These forms are processed by the Central Agent Authorisation Team (CAAT) in Longbenton. If any paper forms CWF1 SA400, SA401, SA402 or SA1 are received in a processing office they should be sent to CAAT to deal with. 

It is essential that the taxpayer declares his/her verified national insurance number (NINO) on form CWF1, SA401 or SA1 before the case is set up on SA (unless due to circumstances where the taxpayer will not have a NINO, for example a foreign national). This will enable the SA record to be matched with a record held on the Citizen Identification Framework.

If the taxpayer does not declare a verified NINO on the CWF1, SA401 or SA1 the papers will be sent back to the taxpayer asking for the information before we set them up on SA and allocate a UTR.

Any taxpayer without a verified NINO should be advised to apply for one by telephoning the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0300 200 3500. As part of this process, they will be asked to attend an Evidence of Identity interview. Once the taxpayer has their NINO, the SA registration process can proceed as normal.

Where a record (a very small number) has a temporary reference number and the NINO is discovered, the manual function to update the record is held by the Citizen Validation Unit (CVU). Unfortunately, the CVU are unable to process requests to amend SA records at present. You should make a note of the NINO in the free format notes using function AMEND TAXPAYER SIGNALS. There is a periodic automatic matching process which looks at the taxpayer name, date of birth, gender and address. The correct NINO for all matched records will automatically be updated on the SA records.

Where forms 64-8 or CWFI / SA401 / SA1 are received attached with other general post, after forwarding the 64-8 and/or the CWF1 / SA401 / SA1 to CAAT on day of receipt you should

  • Retain and deal with the item of post. If you can work the post without waiting for the CWF1 / SA401 /SA1 or 64-8 details to be updated on the system you should do so without further delay
  • If you are unable to work the post until the system has been updated, you should ensure the post is worked as soon as the forms 64-8 or CWF1 / SA401 / SA1 have been processed

Note: Under no circumstances should you send items of post to CAAT. 

Forms 64-8 received by CAAT cannot be accepted as a route to set the case up in SA. The form 64-8 can be processed by CAAT with a validated NINO to update agent records but if there is no validated NINO the form will be sent back to the taxpayer for the information to be included.

If the customer records are held by Public Department 1, CAAT will not be in a position to action forms CWF1 / SA401 / SA1 or 64-8. In these cases, CAAT will send the forms direct to the owning office with a covering memo. Any Welsh versions of the forms will be sent to the Porthmadog office.

When the record is set up, the system will allocate a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and issue a ’Welcome’ letter (SA250) to the taxpayer. Where an agent is acting on behalf of the taxpayer and a valid form 64-8 is in place, a copy of SA250 (Agent) will be sent to the agent.

Where an SA record relates to a person or body that has been appointed to act in a capacity for the taxpayer, for example executor or official receiver, the entry letter will not be automatically generated. You will need to write to the capacitor explaining your actions and where a 64-8 is held you should also send a copy of the letter to the agent.

The issue of this output can be inhibited by setting the ‘SA Entry / Exit Letter Inhibited’ signal.

A taxpayer should register as self-employed no later than six months from the end of the tax year they became self-employed. Failure to tell us within the time limit may incur a £100 penalty plus interest. In these cases the CWF1 / SA400 / SA401 is processed as normal and a copy of the CWF1 / SA400 / SA401 sent to the relevant Hidden Economy Risk Team (HERT), addressed to the Failure to Notify (FTN) section.

Profits from a trade, including profits from a profession or vocation have to be set up as sources on the SA record for compliance purposes. For partner sources you need to create a link between the individual and partnership records. PAYE income and other sources are not set up on the SA record.

Where an SA record is set up and the only source of income is from land or property for example, moor land, furnished lettings, rental income, or where a TCN is not entered onto the record, you must enter a free format note in function AMEND TAXPAYER SIGNALS confirming the details of this source.