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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: maintain taxpayer record: automatic removal of ceased self employed and/or partner cases from SA

An automatic selection process will run immediately prior to the annual tax return selection process in February to identify cases where

  • A return has been issued for the previous year (CY-1) and has not been received


  • There is a ceased date set against all sources of self employment and/or partnership and those sources ceased during CY-1 or earlier

Those cases will then be reviewed to see if they are suitable for removal from Self Assessment.

If a tax return is held for CY-2, the information in that return (excluding the self employment and/or partnership income) will be reviewed to see if the customer still meets the criteria for Self Assessment. If a CY-2 return is not held, the computer system will look for a tax return for CY-3 and use that for its review, or if not held, look for a return for CY-4 and use that information.

If no returns are held for CY-2 to CY-4, the information in the return profile for the latest return year is reviewed and, as long as none of the following schedules (UK Property, foreign, trusts, residence) have been issued, the case will be considered suitable for removal.

Note: The automatic closure of SA records will be inhibited when an open enquiry exists, the record shows it is a CPR/expat case or the inhibit auto closure signal is set.

For those cases identified as suitable for removal, the computer system will

  • Set the ‘final year for SA return’ signal to CY-1
  • Send an exit letter (SA251) to the customer (and exit letter SA251(agent) to any agent acting) explaining that a Self Assessment tax return does not need to be completed in the future (unless that output is inhibited)
  • Automatically add an SA Note showing ‘SA record closed on DD/MM/YYYY following automatic selection’

Note: The tax return for CY-1 (and any earlier outstanding tax returns) is still required, although this will not have been identified on the exit letter. If you come across such a case in day to day work, write to the customer explaining what information is required to bring their tax affairs up to date.

Note: It may be that the case is automatically removed from Self Assessment in error. For example, where a customer has started trading or joined a partnership during CY-1, but the SA record has not been updated. If this is identified in day to day work, you will need to reactivate the SA record, for further information see SAM101093.