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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Returns: partnership returns: unsolicited returns: partnerships

Unsolicited returns are returns received from partnerships (or their agents) who have not been required, by the official issue of a return containing a Section 12AA notice, to file a return.

In all cases you should set up an SA record in a new case, or reactivate the record in a dormant case, where you receive an unsolicited return or information which purports to be a return. For information on setting up a partnership record see section ‘Set Up Taxpayer’ in business area ‘Records’; for information on re-activating a dormant record see section ‘Maintain Taxpayer Record’ in business area ‘Records’.

In any case where any one or more of the partners shown on the return is not set up on SA, you should use function ADD / AMEND ANNUAL COMPLIANCE DETAILS to set the Mandatory Review signal (category ‘FTN’) on the SA partnership record.

If the information received purports to be a return but which is not in the proper form and which lacks a proper declaration you should

  • Write to the partnership, (copy to the agent if the agent has sent in the information), explaining that the information given cannot be treated as constituting a return since it falls short of the requirements

Note: Where an unsolicited return is signed by someone on behalf of the taxpayer (for example, Power of Attorney), also seek confirmation of authority if there are any doubts

  • Enclose an official return for completion

And

  • Record the date of issue of the return using function RECORD DATE OF CLERICAL ISSUE. The date recorded should be the same as the date on your letter

If the unsolicited return is in the proper form you should log the return to record the date of receipt.

You must then write to the partnership (see Action Guide for suggested wording), sending a copy to the agent where the agent has sent in the information, to

  • Acknowledge receipt of the return

Note: Where an unsolicited return is signed by someone on behalf of the taxpayer (for example, Power of Attorney), also seek confirmation of authority if there are any doubts. In this instance, say that all we are doing is seeking to establish whether this is a valid return and are not giving notice of intention to enquire into the return

  • Advise them that you will treat the return for all purposes as if it were in response to a notice to make a return by the date we received it

You should treat the return as having a filing date of 31 October or, where received after 31 October following the end of the tax year, the same as the date it was received.

Note: If you receive any objection to the intended action you have no alternative but to unlog the unsolicited return and issue a formal return containing a Section 12AA notice.

You should then capture the return details.

Last date for S12AC Enquiry

As the return is treated as due on the date HMRC received it, the last date for enquiry into the return is the end of the 12 month period commencing on the day the return was delivered.

For example

Return received                      21 November 2014
   
12 months period commences 21 November 2014
12 month period end                     21 November 2015
Last date for enquiry               21 November 2015