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HMRC internal manual

VAT Assessments and Error Correction

Powers of assessment: VAT assessment powers: Out of time assessments

There may be occasions when HMRC is unable to assess under-declarations of tax because of the time limit rules explained in this section.

If the tax was not assessable on discovery, e.g. it relates to a period more than four years ago, there is no requirement to record details and/or notify Debt Management and Banking.

However, if the tax should have been assessed on discovery but has gone out of time to be assessed, either because of trader delay, departmental delay or official oversight, the tax lost must be reported to

Performance Planning and Reporting
Debt Strategy
Debt Management and Banking
Room NW1
Durrington Bridge House
Barrington Road
West Sussex
BH12 4SE.

It must be reported on Form C&E283. The form should be completed in the normal way and the ‘OTHER’ box ticked in the write off section.

In the case description box you should state either

  • ‘Out of time assessment due to trader delay’ or
  • ‘Out of time assessment due to official error’.

You should refer to Accounting Guidance on accounting for revenue losses before reporting a tax loss for accounting purposes, see HMRC Tax Accounting Policies: Revenue Losses.