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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Returns: trust returns: repairing obvious errors: trusts

At any time before the end of a period of nine months beginning with the day on which the trust’s return is received you may amend/repair the self assessment calculation to repair any mistakes or obvious errors in the return.

Obvious errors include those identified when using Technical Support System (TSS) to enter the return details. Examples include arithmetical errors or the carry forward of the wrong figure from one box to another.

Small mistakes should not be repaired, the error may be over-ridden and you should accept the trustee’s figure (SAM123214). For example if the return entry is round pounds do not repair the entry to include pence.

Where the amount of tax deducted from investment income is incorrect, or there is an arithmetical error, it will not be obvious which box or boxes contain the wrong figure(s). In these circumstances you should accept the taxpayer’s figure in the gross income box.

The computer does not have any upper limit on the amount that can be repaired. If in any doubt however, the trustee’s figure should be entered and accepted, the position can be clarified at the Check Later stage.

In self calculation cases take care if the computer calculated amount does not agree with the trustees self assessment, see subject ‘Repairing Box 17.1’ (SAM123260).

You must always make a note against the return entry where you have repaired or accepted the figure.

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If it is necessary to repair any of the Standard Accounts Information on a trust return, you may need to refer the case to an Inspector to consider the effect on other aspects of the accounts.

We must not carry out a repair without notifying the trustee that we have done so. The trustee must be given the right to respond to the repair.

A trustee has the right to reject our repair to an obvious error. The rejection must be in writing within 30 days of the issue of the Revision Notice notifying the repair. The legislation is at 9BZ(4) and (5) TMA1970.

If an agent is acting a rejection can be accepted from the agent.

If a trustee has filed their return on time, they can amend that return within 12 months of the filing date. In these cases they are not limited to the 30 day rejection rule.

In practice the 30 day rejection rule will only be applied where a return is filed 11 months after the filing date or later.

The repair of one entry may have a knock on effect to a subsequent entry, where this happens you need only note the original entry as a repair.

Exceptionally if you need to contact the trustee where an entry is illegible or it is impossible to decide what the correct entry should be, an experienced member of staff may contact the trustee or agent, but ensure

  • You use the telephone or exceptionally if you have been given permission by your manager, write to the trustee. (Check the file first for first party information before writing). You must make it clear that the query

    • Is designed to allow you to process the return on the basis of the figures supplied
    • Does no more than clarify unclear handwriting or incorrect arithmetic

When corresponding with a trustee you must refer to the repairs as revisions. 

If you have any difficulty identifying an error you should accept the trustee’s figure.

Any information from the trustee or agent may be used to repair an obvious error, including additional information with the return or third party information supplied by the trustee or agent. You must not use third party information that has not been supplied by the trustee or agent to repair an obvious error.

If you are processing a return after 31 December following the end of the return year and you need to repair an entry or entries, and that repair(s) increases the liability (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) and no repayment is due, do not make any repairs to the return when entering the details in TSS.

Further information is available on repairing a return after 31 December following the end of a return year. See subject ‘Repairing Returns After 31 December: Trusts’ (SAM123280).

Following the entry of the return details in TSS a series of printouts is produced automatically by TSS on the local printer. These printouts include

  • A letter
  • Summary of income and deductions
  • Tax calculation
  • Customer Service Messages including details of each revision / repair which has been made

These printouts should be collated and sent to the trustee. The combined document includes the Revision Notice and the Tax Calculation.

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