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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Returns: returns processed by HMRC Netherton: introduction

The Short Tax Return (SA200) is a simpler version of the Main Tax Return (SA100). It contains a limited number of questions so only those taxpayers whose affairs are relatively straightforward can use the form.

Forms SA200 are captured using the Automated Data Capture (ADC) process, which takes place at the Netherton Processing Centre.

The return must

  • Be on the HMRC paper form
  • Be signed by the correct person, including a person acting in any capacity
  • Not include turnover of £83,000 or more from self employment or £83,000 from UK property

All forms SA200 should initially be sent to Netherton Processing Centre to capture using Automated Data Capture.

On receipt of the return the date of receipt must be stamped on the return.

Note: In some cases the return will have been received in a local office and will have been forwarded to Netherton. The local office should have stamped it with the date of receipt before redirecting it. The return will be logged when received at Netherton.

Returns that require no further action will be captured using Automated Data Capture. Note: Certain returns will be processed through ADC but fail to complete, for example as a result of arithmetical errors. These are part captured and added to the ‘Short Tax Return Rejections’ Work List in the office responsible for processing to fully capture.

However, after review, certain returns will not be processed initially through ADC but will be passed to the HMRC team at TCO Netherton for further action.

These returns must be recorded (logged) on the taxpayer record using function LOG RETURN. Where bar code reading equipment is available this should be used to log returns as it is quick and accurate.

The following circumstances will apply for returns to be passed to the HMRC team at TCO Netherton

  • The return has not been signed
  • Enclosures or attachments are received with the return. Any payments received with the return should also be extracted, payslips prepared and forwarded, and the return noted
  • The taxpayer’s personal address has changed
  • The return indicates that a form SA108 in respect of capital gains has been completed
  • The return is illegible, mutilated, or the barcode is not present; these returns cannot be scanned using ADC
  • The return is not for the latest return year (CY-1)

These returns, unless stated otherwise, will normally need to be sent to the office with processing responsibility for capture.

For any return that has been fully or partly captured by ADC, a scanned image of the return will be available for viewing. If the return failed the ADC process and has subsequently been captured using Local Data Capture (LDC), there will be no access to a scanned image.

The ADC process will also automatically reject returns where

  • Self employed turnover (box 3.7) is £83,000 or above
  • UK property income (box 6.1) is £83,000 or above
  • The return is not signed (box 13.1)

Unsigned and unsatisfactory returns received before the filing date and which are sent back on, or after 10 October (or within 21 days before any other filing date), should be unlogged and dealt with in accordance with the Action Guide at SAM127081.


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, since 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.


Paper copies of a form SA200 processed through ADC are shredded after capture. A scanned image should meet most circumstances where there is a need to see the original return. To view the scanned image


  • Select the required tax year
  • Select [View short image]