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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Returns: individuals returns: unsatisfactory individuals returns

Supplementary Pages where no original return has been received
Points to note
All cases


The return must

  • Be electronically filed, or be on the HMRC paper form, or be a computer generated version which is identical to the official HMRC form.
  • Be the correct version of the form for that year and not have been manually altered to form a substitute for another years return
  • Be signed by the correct person, including a person acting in any capacity. Note: Where a return is signed by another person, authority must be held otherwise the return must be treated as unsatisfactory. For further information see subject Records: maintain taxpayer records: maintain capacities (SAM101190). Note: The return may be completed in ink or pencil, either is acceptable although completion in ink is preferable. Do not refuse a return because it has been completed in pencil
  • Include all supplementary pages indicated on the Main Tax Return (SA100) as being necessary.
  • Include details in all boxes which should have been completed on the return, unless the information is enclosed with the return or is available on our systems, in which case you can capture that information into the correct boxes. Note: Where corrections are made the customer and his agent, if one exists, should be notified in writing. For further information refer to the Action Guide for Paper Return Validation and Data Capture
  • See Points To Note below

    • If Employment page/s are indicated but have not been enclosed. These can be added  by using information we already hold on our systems under S9ZB TMA1970 this took effect from 6 April 2016. For example, Pay and tax and Benefits (such as Car and Fuel benefits and Medical Insurance notified on form P11D). You can also accept a return from a director with no income who has entered a note to this effect in the white space.
    • If other information has been given on the SA100 in box 19, the return can be treated as satisfactory. However, if the Additional Information page has been indicated but no information has been shown in box 19, the return should be treated as unsatisfactory. However, if the Additional Information page has been indicated but no information has been shown in box 19, the return should be treated as unsatisfactory.
    • If the Capital Gains page is enclosed without a computation. This should be treated as satisfactory as the computation may be requested at a later date.
  • The return should not be submitted before the statutory issue date, unless the customer has emigrated and is submitting an in-year return, or has died and someone is submitting it on their behalf. For further information, see subject Permanent Cessation at SAM90000. In such cases, where the return has been submitted too early, you should send the return back with SEES letter SA831 and tell the customer that unless the conditions for permanent cessation apply, the return cannot be accepted. Alternatively, we will send a Notice to File (SA316), or a paper return where applicable, for completion after 5 April.

The return is unsatisfactory and should be sent back where

* The Foreign page asks for figures to be entered in sterling and the amount is shown in foreign currency


* The Minister of Religion page shows boxes MoR 5 or 13 have been completed and box MoR 20 shows a figure greater than £8500 but boxes MoR 27 to MoR 35 have not been completed


* The Main return (SA100) shows box 2 on page TR5 under ‘High income Child Benefit Charge’ has been completed but box 1 is blank
  • Where a Residence - Remittance basis page has been submitted in support of a double taxation relief claim, (Help sheets 302/304) a certificate of residence should be enclosed. Note: If a Double Taxation individual form is enclosed rather than a certificate of residence, it may be accepted as a certificate of residence if the tax authorities in the country where the customer is resident has completed that part of the form where residence is certified
  • Not include, on a Short Tax Return (SA200), turnover of £85,000 or more from Self Employment, or £85,000 or more from Land and Property
  • Not include entries

    • ‘Per attached’ where a spreadsheet, table or list providing details which should be on separate supplementary pages (trades, partnerships, accounting periods), has been enclosed. This is not acceptable
    • ‘To follow’ unless the information is already held on our systems
    • ‘Per enclosed accounts’ and the SAI has not been completed correctly

An unsatisfactory return is a return that fails to satisfy the filing requirement of Sections 8 and 8A TMA1970 as stated in the ‘Notice to File’.

Section 8 TMA1970 requires returns provide information reasonably required for the purpose of establishing the amounts in which a person is chargeable, Sections 4 and 5 TMA1970 allow for a correction to be made, using information we already hold on our systems such as Pay and tax, Benefits from Employment, State Pension, entries in boxes CAL 7, CAL 8 and FIN 1 and arithmetical errors.


The exceptions to these general rules are

  • The omission of the amount of Class 4 National Insurance Contributions due. This is not an error and does not make the return unsatisfactory
  • The omission of information from the un-numbered boxes above box 9 in support of a Tax Credit Relief claim on the Foreign pages. This will not make a return unsatisfactory if

    • Liverpool Large Business Office has agreed the omission with the partnership


    • The entry is supported by a claim to partial exemption from UK tax on income by a dual resident

More detailed information is available in this section of the SA Manual on the following subjects:

  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) SAM121230(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • Standard Accounts Information: Subject ‘SAI: Completion of Individual’s Return’ (SAM121220)
  • Mandatory boxes: Subject ‘Mandatory Boxes: Individuals’ (SAM121170)

Supplementary Pages where no original return has been received

Where supplementary pages are received without a satisfactory return for the appropriate year, no action must be taken regarding the information given, the pages must be returned to the customer/agent with a covering letter to explain the reasons why.

Explain that the information shown on the page(s) cannot be accepted without a satisfactory completed return, submitted online or on paper, for the appropriate year. You should also advise the customer if a previous unsatisfactory return has been sent back to them, and when it was sent, and that the relevant completed pages should be sent back with that return.

Enclose a blank paper return, as appropriate, or direct the customer to the HMRC website to enable them to download the relevant form(s), and make an SA note of the action taken in case the customer makes contact by phone.

Points to note

PAYE taxpayers

The customer may tick Question 1 on page TR 2 of the SA100 to show they were an employee, office holder, director or agency worker in the return year but not complete the Employment pages. If there is no other indication of employment, for example a form P60, P11D or a letter with additional information enclosed with the return, treat the return as satisfactory. If necessary, the details can be checked and the return corrected during capture using information we already hold, such as Pay and Tax and Employment Benefits but remember that a customer does not have to complete the Employment pages where

  • No income was received during the return year from that employment


  • The customer was not resident in the UK and the employment was performed wholly outside the UK

Agents have been advised to enter an explanation in the Additional Information box as to why the Employment pages have not been completed in these cases.

Capital Gains cases

The customer must complete the Capital Gains Summary (where the requirement to report these gains is met) if they have disposed of shares, securities, property or other assets in the year, or they otherwise have gains for the year.

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

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) SAM121080(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

All cases

Where a return is considered unsatisfactory, it should be reviewed by an experienced officer for the next appropriate action. Note: The officer should consider the whole form to decide if the relevant boxes and the appropriate pages have been completed.

The officer should also consider other information provided with the return and what information already held on our systems can be used to correct the return under S9ZB TMA1970 before deciding to send the return back.

If the return is being considered as unsatisfactory because a box has not been completed but other information provided with the return, or that we already hold, could satisfy, the return should be processed.

If the return could in fact be treated as satisfactory, the experienced officer should

  • Log the return
  • Identify all omissions and errors
  • Obtain all information possible from the return and enclosures and, where the information can be easily identified, make repairs to the return entries and give a customer service message to support each repair. If information we hold is used to correct the return under S9ZB, that is the information was not provided with the return but we have used information from our systems to correct the return, you should follow the PT OPs Action Guide for DMS SA Return Validation and Data Capture

However, if, following the review, the return is still considered as unsatisfactory, no repairs of obvious errors should be made and the form should be sent back without any amendment. If it does not satisfy the requirements then it is not a return and we can only correct a return.

Note: Where a form SA200 is unsatisfactory because it includes income exceeding £85,000 from self employment or £85,000 from land and property, a form SA100 is required and should be issued to the customer.

An unsatisfactory return must be rejected and sent back to the customer or agent who submitted it (only to an agent where 64-8 held). Where an agent is acting, a letter should also be issued to the other party notifying them of the action taken.

Note: If, in a case where an agent is acting, it is not possible to tell who submitted the return, it should be sent back to the customer as it is their ultimate responsibility to ensure that a satisfactory return is submitted.

Returns received before the filing date, which are sent back on or after 10 October (or in the corresponding period up to any other filing date), that are identified as unsatisfactory should not be logged whilst the return is

  • Sent back for completion by the customer or agent who submitted it


  • For completion of a further return in certain SA200 cases

In Short Tax Return cases, the scanned image can be printed off and returned. If necessary a blank SA200 should be sent back with it.

These returns should be handled in accordance with the Action Guide at SAM121261.


1. Unsatisfactory returns received on 1 November should not be treated in the same way as those received in the period 10 to 31 October. This is to correspond with the fact that, from October 2011, a return received on that date is considered to be late and will attract a penalty
2. A period longer than 21 days should be allowed in certain exceptional circumstances, for example overseas addresses or UK geographical areas where there are known longer postal times

All returns that are rejected must be accompanied by a letter explaining why it is being sent back. The correct letter should be issued in accordance with the table below. Where more than one return for the same customer is being sent back and the reason for rejection differs for each return, if the SEES letter cannot be adapted appropriately, consider sending a separate letter with each return or sending a free format letter using the SEES letters for reference.

Date Return Received Date Return sent back Issue Letter
Before 10 October    


Up to 21 days before any other filing date Before 10 October


Up to 21 days before any other filing date SA603
  Before 10 October


Up to 21 days before any other filing date 10 October or later


On or after the day which is 20 days before any other filing date SA604
  10 October to 1 November


From 21 days before, up to and including any other filing date 10 October or later


On or after the day which is 20 days before any other filing date SA604    
  After the filing date Any day SA605

For the avoidance of doubt the 21 day period of grace, or longer where allowed, only applies where the return is unsatisfactory as a result of a genuine oversight. It does not apply where the return is deliberately unsatisfactory, in an attempt to take advantage of the period of grace. For example, the 21 days, or longer where allowed, do not apply if a return is deliberately sent in without a relevant set of pages, to buy a little more time to complete those pages. Nor does it apply if a return is deliberately sent in without a signature, to buy a little more time to obtain the signature. If you come across a case where an unsatisfactory return is sent in several years running, refer it to an experienced officer to decide whether the 21 day period of grace, or longer where allowed, can be given or not.

Note: Revenue Calculation cases

In cases where

  • The signed return is received before 31 October


  • The customer has requested Revenue Calculation

You should advise the customer that HMRC will still calculate the tax due on request, but cannot promise to do so before 31 January following the end of the SA year.