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HMRC internal manual

VAT Refunds

Claims for overdeclared output tax: Time limits Section 80 VAT Act 1994: Subsection (1A) - General

Where a person is making a claim to recover an amount that was paid pursuant to an assessment that ought not to have been made, he has four years from the end of the accounting period in which the assessment was made.

For example;

Afula Ltd sells widgets and treats them as exempt. On 17 March 2007, an officer of HMRC makes an assessment on the basis that the widgets should be taxed at the standard rate. However, it later turns out that Afula Ltd was right. Assuming that Afula Ltd is accounting for VAT on the quarters ending 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December, it has until 31 March 2011 to make its claim under section 80(1A).