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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Returns: returns work lists: w024 duplicate return logged .....

A work item is created and entered on the ‘Duplicate Return Logged - Original Already Logged or Captured’ work list when

  • A return has been filed online but a paper return has already been logged or captured

Or

  • A return is logged but not captured, but a return for that year has already been logged and the second logging date is earlier than the first

Or

  • A return is logged but not captured, but a return for that year has already been both logged and captured

Or

  • An attempt has been made to capture a return, but a return for that year has already been captured

The reason for entry will be shown on the list as one of the following

  • ‘Internet - Return Already logged/captd’
  • ‘Attempt to log & already logged’
  • ‘Attempt to log & already captured’
  • ‘Attempt to capture & already captured’

The ‘Duplicate Return Logged - Original Already Logged or Captured’ work list is allocated to the Clerical Processing Officer in the office with processing responsibility.

When a duplicate return is recorded by the system, it is important to review the circumstances surrounding that return to ensure that correct action is taken.

You have to decide whether to

  • Unlog the original return, as logged in error for this taxpayer. Note: If screen prints of a draft online return are required, they must be taken before the original is unlogged. This is because the unlogging process will unlog all returns for that UTR and year, including the draft online return
  • Amend the date of receipt of the return. Note: It is important that where you are taking action after 31 October you should amend the paper filing date in ‘Return Summary’ from 31 October to the date you are taking action to avoid late filing penalties being incurred. Where you are taking action on, or after 31 January you should amend both the paper filing date and the online filing date, to the date you are taking action. Note: Where taking action over a weekend, the date should be amended to the following Monday, or Tuesday if it is a Bank Holiday weekend
  • Do nothing, because the second return is merely a duplicate of the first
  • Use function AMEND RETURN where the second return is an amendment to the first

Paper and Online returns

Once a return has been filed for a year, any further return made must be treated as an amendment to that return. The first return for a year will usually be the return whose receipt is registered first on our systems.

Where both returns are paper returns, the first return will be the one with the earliest date of receipt (logging date).

If one return is paper and the other online, it will usually be the return with the earliest date of receipt that is treated as the first return.

You should write to the taxpayer, using stock letter SA601 to advise them of this.

There is nothing to stop a return being filed online after a paper return has been filed. The fact that a return is already held by the SA system is not passed to the online functionality.

Once an online return has been filed for a UTR for a particular year, the online functionality will prevent submission of a further ‘original’ return for that year and UTR. An appropriate message is displayed to the taxpayer (or agent if appropriate).

If a paper return is filed after the normal filing date of 31 October, the penalty liable to be charged for filing a late return cannot be avoided by filing an online return before the online filing date of 31 January. 

If the second (online) return is a duplicate of the original (paper) return, you will need to write to the taxpayer, using stock letter SA601, to explain that a late paper return cannot be superseded by a later online return, and that they are still liable to be charged a penalty for filing the late paper return.

If the second (online) return is different to the first (paper) return, you should treat the second return as an amendment to the original return. You should advise the taxpayer of this, using stock letter SA601.

Where an online return is received for an individual, and a paper return has already been logged / captured on the SA system, the online details are stored as a draft return. These can be accessed by selecting version ‘99’ in function VIEW RETURN. If screen prints are required, they must be taken before you unlog the first return. This is because the unlogging process will unlog all returns for that UTR and year, including any draft online version which will then be irretrievable.

Note: For partnership returns, no draft return is stored. A print of the full return can be taken in order to establish whether the return is an amendment or a duplicate, but there is no need to retain the print as the full submission will be available on the IR Portal (see section subject ‘Identifying and viewing a return filed online’ (SAM126070).

Trust and Estate returns

Information from Trust and Estate returns which are filed online is not passed to the mainframe systems. These returns are printed off, logged on SA, and manually captured, using the SA Trust Return application (TSS), in the same way as a paper return.

Where a duplicate Trust & Estate return is filed online, there is no online draft version held on SA. The duplicate is printed off in the same way as an original Trust and Estate Return filed online.

When capturing a Trust & Estate return for which an original is already held, TSS will display the message

  • ‘There is a fully captured return for this reference. If you want to open the return, click the OK button, if not click cancel.’

Select the [OK] button and TSS will display the further message

  • ‘You have asked to open a fully captured return. Are you still working the original return, or have you received an amended return?’

Select ‘Original return’ and then select the [OK] button. The figures should be compared with the information held on TSS to establish whether the return is a duplicate or an amendment. Returns logged to the incorrect UTR will be identified before the return is captured.

These differences mean that the ‘Duplicate Return Logged - Original Already Logged or Captured’ work list is not used in Trust offices, and any work items can therefore be cleared without review.

The work item is deleted automatically when you unlog the return. Otherwise it should be deleted manually, in function WORK LIST CASES or function SELECTED CASE, on completion of your review.