SAM121190 - Returns: individuals returns: provisional or estimated figures: individuals

Returns which include provisional or estimated figures should be accepted provided they can be regarded as satisfying the filing requirement.

  • A provisional figure is one which the taxpayer / agent has supplied pending the submission of the final / accurate figure
  • An estimated figure is one which the taxpayer / agent wishes to be accepted as the final figure because it is not possible to provide an accurate figure for example where the records have been lost. The taxpayer is not required to tick box 20 of the Finishing your Tax Return section of the return page TR 6 (or equivalent in a return for an earlier year) where estimated figures have been used

Provisional figures

If the final figures are not provided we will take appropriate action to obtain them and in some cases this will mean opening an enquiry.

The return guidance for TR 6 box 20 (or equivalent in a return for an earlier year) advises taxpayers to put provisional figures in returns rather than delay their submission, provided that the figures are reasonable and take account of all the information available.

Particular care should be taken when checking that the return fulfils the filing requirement, to ensure that it has been completed properly in all respects. The number and type of provisional figures should be the same as if the final figures were being provided. Where a series of provisional figures are needed, advise taxpayers and agents to look at the previous years return for guidance on completion. There should be no short cuts because the figures are only provisional. A restriction of the number of boxes to be completed only applies where it is ‘impossible’ to provide the figures.

You should capture the return as normal where provisional figures are identified and the return would otherwise be regarded as satisfactory, for example

  • The completion of the Standard Accounts Information (SAI) is satisfactory


  • It is impossible for the taxpayer to give accounts figures in a commencement case because the first accounts period ends after the filing date.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Where it appears that a particular agent is filing a significant proportion of returns with provisional or estimated figures, you should inform the Compliance Manager.

Further information is available in this section on the following subjects

  • ‘Unsatisfactory Individuals returns’ (SAM121260)
  • ‘SAI: Completion of Individual’s return’ (SAM121220)