Repayments: claims made outside a return: claims: corrections
Where a claim is made in a return HMRC can use the normal S9A enquiry procedures for returns to check its accuracy. There are parallel powers contained in Schedule 1A TMA to enquire into ‘stand alone’ claims. Schedule 1A also contains provisions to ‘repair’ claims which contain obvious errors.
You may correct obvious mistakes and errors in a claim within the 9 months following the date on which the claim is made. The date the claim is made should be taken as the date it is received. You must notify the taxpayer in writing of any amendment you have made and this ‘correction notice’ should be on the following lines
‘I have amended your claim to ……. relief for the period ….. dated …… to correct what appears to be a mistake in it. Details of your amended claim are (shown below / on the attached sheet)
If you do not agree with my revision for any reason please let me know within the next 30 days’
You should include a computation or explanation in your ‘correction notice’ and a copy should be sent to the agent if the taxpayer has one.
Where you have made a correction you should give immediate effect to the claim.
In the past taxpayers have been allowed to reject a Revenue correction of an ‘obvious error’ in a claim where they do not agree that anything was wrong. The Finance Bill 2001 has given the taxpayer the legal right to do this by notice within 30 days of receipt of the ‘correction notice’. In making this a legal right it is not the intention to restrict the time scale available to the taxpayer to reject / amend Revenue corrections to a shorter period than was used in the past. The previous time scale used was a matter of practice only, but in order to retain the flexibility this will continue.
Where a taxpayer wants to reverse / amend a Revenue correction you should do so if at all possible, even if the 30 day notification period has past.
If the taxpayer considers the ‘repair’ to be wrong and asks you to reverse or amend the correction, you should allow further relief or recover any amount over-relieved, as appropriate. If you still think the claim is incorrect, you should take up the matter as an enquiry.
The taxpayer may amend a claim at any time during the 12 month period following the date on which it is made. The taxpayer may not, however, amend a claim during any period in which the claim is under enquiry. Instead, the taxpayer will have the right to make any appropriate amendment once the enquiry is completed.
As with returns, HMRC has the right to make enquiries into the accuracy of any claim or amendment to a claim. However, as a general principle, it is preferable to wait for the return that will include the claim before deciding to open an enquiry. You should only consider opening an enquiry into the claim in advance of the return if
- The repayment that depends on it is large
- You have reason to believe that making a repayment is likely to result in a loss of tax
The Enquiry Manual (EM) provides full details about opening, conducting and closing enquiries into claims made outside a return.
If you need urgent advice on whether or not to open an enquiry before you receive the return, contact Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) here.