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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Returns: individuals returns: mandatory boxes: individuals

Where the individual taxpayer has completed the Employment pages, Self-Employment pages and / or the Partnership pages, there is a box on each set of pages which provides essential information to enable full capture to take place. These boxes are known as mandatory boxes. The information from these boxes is essential for risk and profiling purposes. The error message ‘Mandatory box value is not supplied’ is displayed if the information is not entered during capture of the return.

Note: Even if no entries have been made in these boxes on the return, you may be able to complete capture fully by obtaining the relevant information from details held elsewhere, including computer functions and other entries on the return. 

The mandatory boxes which should always be completed when capturing the return are as follows

  • Box 4 on the Employment page E1 should be completed with the employer’s PAYE reference
  • Box 6 on the Employment page ‘Were you a company director?’
  • Box 2 on the Self-employment (full) page SEF 1 or box 1 on the Self-employment (short) page SES 1 should be completed with the description of the business
  • Box 1 on the Partnership pages PF 1 (full) or PS 1 (short) should be completed with the partnership reference. Note: A partnership UTR will not exist for a foreign partnership that has no profits arising in the UK. Where the taxpayer is a partner of a foreign partnership that has no profits arising in the UK enter customers own UTR in box 1

As part of the pre-capture check for unsatisfactory returns you should check to see that where the taxpayer has completed the Employment, Self-Employment and / or the Partnership pages that the appropriate box has been completed.

Note: You should not reject a return where a box 4 entry is missing from the Employment page if details are provided in box 5 of the employer’s name (even if you still cannot trace the PAYE reference). 

If you are able to ascertain the necessary details, the taxpayer should be advised that the information should be given on future returns by the issue of a Customer Service Message either on the Tax Calculation, where issued, or by separate letter following capture of the return.

If you are unable to obtain the information from all relevant details held, or are at all unsure of what the entry should be, you must not guess but treat the return as unsatisfactory and send the return back to the taxpayer or agent for the information.

Detailed advice on unsatisfactory returns is available in subject ‘Unsatisfactory Individuals Returns’ (SAM121260).