HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: maintain taxpayer record: automatic removal of cases from SA using CY-1 return

You should check the other guidance available on GOV.UK from HMRC as Brexit updates to those pages are being prioritised before manuals.

When a CY-1 tax return is captured, the computer system will identify PAYE / SA cases suitable for removal from SA. It will do this by comparing the CY-1 tax return with a set of specified criteria (SAM101042). For those cases identified as suitable for removal the computer system will

  • Set the ‘Final Year for SA Return’ signal on SA (equal to the year on which the selection was based
  • Send a letter (SA251) to the taxpayer and any acting agent (SA251 Agent) explaining that we no longer need an SA tax return to be completed
  • Automatically write an SA Note. The text will state ‘SA record closed on DD/MM/YYYY following automatic selection’

And, if applicable

  • Remove the PAYE reference from the MAINTAIN SOURCES screen and the link from the SA record to the PAYE record
  • Notify PAYE of items that should be included in the CY+1 coding which are not already included


1. If the return includes a self employment page or partnership page with a ceased date, the computer system may also update the record to reflect the cessation. See subjects ‘Maintain trade’ (SAM101250) and ‘Maintain partner’ (SAM101220) for further information.
2. The automatic closure of SA records will be inhibited when an open enquiry exists or the Organisation Unit is CPR or EXPAT.

Cases will not be automatically removed from SA if the return has been received on time but has not been captured before details are taken for the annual selection of an SA return for the following year. The Potential Removal case signal will be set to indicate that the taxpayer no longer meets SA criteria. This signal will remain on the record until the return is amended, unlogged or until a later years return is processed. In which case one of the following occurs

  • Later return processed (before next annual return selection) and meets criteria for removal. The signal is cleared and the taxpayer exits SA automatically
  • Later return processed (after next annual return selection) and meets criteria for removal. The signal is updated to the year of the later return
  • Later return processed and does not meet criteria for removal. The signal is cleared


There are occasions where the SA record has been automatically refined and there is an earlier years tax return outstanding. The taxpayer will have received ‘Exit’ letter SA251, and will not have been reminded of the outstanding return. If you come across such a case in day to day work, write to the taxpayer explaining what information is required to bring their tax affairs up to date.