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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Records: SA and permanent notes: SA notes

SA Notes provide an up to date record of any action taken for each SA taxpayer.

Any operator with access to SA can view existing SA Notes by using function MAINTAIN SA NOTES.

If you have update access you can also add a new SA Note.

After adding a new SA Note the computer will automatically add the

  • Date the SA Note was recorded
  • Office Role (Processing Office, Debt Management Office, Technical Office or Banking & Accounting Office)
  • Your Personal Identification Number (PID)


  • Office Identifier

Once recorded, SA Notes can then be amended or deleted by an authorised operator.

Please note there is a limit of 250 characters available for each SA note. There will be a few circumstances where this limit will be insufficient so full use must be made of the abbreviations from the ‘Departmental Abbreviations’ website (under ‘Abbreviations and acronyms’ in the A-Z), to reduce the characters used.

Where it is impossible to reduce the characters to less than 250, a further new SA note should be made making it clear at the start of the second SA note that it is a continuation of the previous SA note.

Please also be aware of the ‘Permanent Notes’ space which can be used in certain circumstances, guidance at SAM108010.

SA Notes can be viewed by anyone with the appropriate user role. When you view an SA Note, it will be displayed in the same format as it was originally entered. It is therefore important that SA Notes are meaningful to anyone in HMRC. To make this easier, a list of the ‘Departmental Approved’ SA Notes is given in the SEES Notes Paster and you should try and use these notes whenever recording an SA Note. Where this is not possible, only abbreviations contained in the ‘Departmental Abbreviations’ website should be used. For security reasons you must not include any BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing System) details when making an SA note or add your name.  

The list of abbreviations contains standard abbreviations commonly used in HMRC. The frequency of use of these abbreviations in the different office types will vary. Certain abbreviations may be rarely used in one office, but in another office may be used regularly.

An SA Note will be added automatically when

  • Any of the taxpayer’s address details are changed on the record. For example, the SA Note ‘Communication Address changed from (Line 1 of Address), (Postcode)’ will be added where the Communication Address is changed
  • The RLS signal is set or deleted. For example, the SA Note ‘Base Address RLS set’ will be added where the Base Address is noted as RLS
  • The SA record is closed following automatic selection. The SA Note ‘SA record closed on dd/mm/yyyy following automatic selection’ will be added