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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Returns: individuals returns: return batch identifier

Batching is the process of collecting and logging together a number of SA returns (normally 50), allocating a sequential number to that group of returns, and using this number (Return Batch Identifier) as the reference for storage.

The Return Batch Identifier is composed of three segments and should appear in the format: Office number / return year / batch number. For example 968 / 2004 / 0345.

The three segments are

  • Office number / location. This will be the office numeral for the office in which the returns will be logged and batched. A location can be added to the office number where several offices share the same number, for example 968Margate
  • Return year. This will be the latest possible year for all returns within the batch being logged, that is CY-1
  • Batch number. This will be the sequential number, as provided by a nominated officer for all returns within the batch being logged. The batch number should be prefixed with

    • ‘UR’ for batches of urgent/priority cases
    • ‘B’ for batches of Business returns
    • ‘P’ for batches of PAYE returns
    • ‘E’ for batches of earlier years returns
    • ‘CG’ for batches of returns which include Capital Gains pages
    • ‘A’ for batches of returns for which you are not the responsible office and that are to be transferred after logging

Once successfully logged and batched, the Return Batch Identifier is recorded in function MAINTAIN RETURN SUMMARY for each return in the batch.