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HMRC internal manual

VAT Assessments and Error Correction

Power of assessment: Evidence of fact: Definition of sufficient

Sufficient evidence of facts, see VAEC1310, means that you have enough information to calculate your assessment to best judgement, see VAEC1400.

The one year time limit for evidence of facts will not necessarily begin to run simply from when

  • you knew something was wrong
  • a different office passed on information to you or a colleague which was not pursued
  • a previous officer knew something was wrong
  • the records were available and/or accessible, or
  • the records were looked at during an earlier visit, either by you or a different officer.

For example, if you or a different officer looked at the records of a business during an earlier visit and you have now identified errors, the one year time limit will not have begun if you still need additional information to justify your assessment.

An example of this is in the appeal case of Pegasus Birds Ltd, [1999] STC 95, see VAEC1341.

The clock starts to tick when you have received the last piece of evidence that enables you to make the assessment, which you are now making to best judgement, see VAEC1400.

You must ask yourself upon making the assessment, did I (or another officer) obtain knowledge of the material information on which I am basing this assessment within the last 12 months. If the answer is no, you cannot make an assessment under the one year rule. For information on ‘comes to the knowledge’, see VAEC1330.