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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Returns: returns work lists: w016 manual issue of return: manual return signal

Where the Manual Return signal was present on the SA record at the time of the automatic selection process, or following use of function RECORD RETURN REQUEST, the case will appear on the ‘Manual Issue of Return’ work list.

The reason MANUAL RETURN SIGNAL will be shown only if none of the following apply

  • Welsh language signal is set
  • Deceased signal is set
  • RLS signal is set

You should now

  • Consider whether the Manual Return signal is still appropriate, and if not, unset it on the SA record. The reason should be shown on the Permanent Notes folder. If you have only a dummy file showing that the main file is held by an Inspector, consult the Inspector

Note: The Welsh signal should remain on a Welsh Language case to denote the customer’s choice of language. Welsh tax returns will be issued manually by

HMRC Welsh Contact Centre
Ty Moelwyn
LL49 9AB

Tel 0300 200 1900

In other cases

Prepare a return manually. If the reason for manual issue is that the Inspector retains the file, you should prominently note the return in the way advised by the Inspector. For example ‘INSP’ may suffice

  • If this is done for annual bulk issue, hold the return with other returns to be issued manually
  • Prior to issue (unless in respect of a partnership where all of the partners are liable to Corporation Tax), use function RECORD DATE OF CLERICAL ISSUE to enter the date of issue on the SA record (the function allows you to enter a date up to 5 days later than today’s date)

Failure to notify

Failure to Notify is still applicable where there is HMRC delay in issue of a return.

If an individual is liable to income tax they are required by legislation to give notice of that liability within 6 months from the end of the relevant tax year, even though HMRC may not have correctly issued a return in good time.

Therefore, in circumstances where

  • The work list is not reviewed promptly


  • Relevant returns, based on the record at the time of the automatic selection process, are issued after 5 October following the end of the tax year

the ‘Failure to Notify’ signal should be set if the individual has not notified chargeability for the year by the relevant 5 October.

Registered pension schemes

There is no computer support to issue the Tax Return for Trustees of Registered Pension Schemes (SA970).

The SA970 is manually issued to schemes by Pension Schemes Services (PSS).

PSS will

  • Prepare and issue the pension scheme return manually
  • Prepare a self-adhesive label, showing the address of PSS, to be affixed to the return address box
  • Include the guidance notes and Tax Calculation Guide

If the name of the trustee is not known, PSS will issue the return to ‘The trustee of ….. (name of scheme).

The return should be issued on the first working day after 5 April of the return year. Use function RECORD DATE OF CLERICAL ISSUE to update the SA record.

More information is available on the issue of pension scheme returns in subject ‘Pension Scheme Returns’ (SAM120080).